Monday, May 9, 2016

SCUBA Diving Certification

Did you know that you can be certified as a SCUBA diver at 10 years of age? We found that out last summer and Boogs could hardly wait until he turned 10 to get his Jr. Open Water SCUBA certification.

I decided to get my certification with Boogs. We studied the course material for over a week before we attended two half days of classroom and two half days of pool class. Boogs did an excellent job paying attention during class. At the end of the two days, there was a 50 question final exam. Boogs took the exam on his own without any help and he scored 94. His score was higher than some of the adults in the classroom. (I scored 96).

We had a good time in the pool practicing our skills. Boogs had a hard time lifting the tank so he had to have help doing his giant stride into the pool.
We found a wet suit that actually fit for Boogs to wear on the open water dives.
The next weekend we were scheduled for our open water training. Unfortunately, Boogs was unable to equalize his ears for the open water dives. He was unable to complete his dives. I had to go ahead and complete my dives without him. We had to wait two weeks before he could be scheduled to try again.

This past weekend we went to Aquarena Springs for Boogs to try his open water dives again. He did two dives on Friday and two dives on Sunday. He passed! There are now three certified SCUBA divers in our family. My husband is certified to dive to 130 feet, I am certified to dive to 60 feet, and Boogs is certified to dive to 40 feet.
 It was a gorgeous day for diving even if there was a bunch of muck at the dock.
 Boogs did his giant stride right into the muck.
 He did a great job following directions and completing his underwater skills.
Daddy held onto his gauge like a leash while Boogs was making sure his BCD was properly buckled.
 Ms. Janice was patient and calm with Boogs.
Even though he got a little cold by the end of his second dive on Sunday, Boogs was a trooper and finished strong.
You can see the ripples on the other side of the center ring. Boogs led the last dive of the day. Ms. Janice told me that Boogs' compass skills were better than mine. Not surprising at all.
 Here he is heading over to the ramp after completing his last dive.
Boogs had to make sure he correctly filled out his log book before Ms. Janice could announce that he was certified.
On the way home from diving, we saw a huge rainbow in the sky.
Way to go Boogs! We can hardly wait for our summer diving adventure in the Florida Keys next month. It should be fun.

This post is linked to:
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Secret Agent Training Birthday Party

Boogs is turning 10 in just a couple of days. How did he get to be in the double-digits so quickly? A couple of weeks ago, Boogs asked if he could have a mystery/spy/secret agent type of theme for his birthday party. He really enjoys coming up with ideas for his parties. We decided to make his party about secret agents training to find the missing treat bags.

He had the party yesterday. Here is the party agenda we settled on:
  
After the kids completed each training session, they had to initial the program sheet to make it "official". 

The Weapons Assembling training was to make marshmallow shooters and decorate them with duct tape. I found this amazing little tool for easily cutting pvc pipe. Each kiddo got a bag with the following pieces of pvc: 2 straight connectors, 2 end caps, 2 tee connectors, 2 elbow connectors, one 5 inch piece, one 4 inch piece, three 3 inch pieces, and three 2 inch pieces. I covered mine with pink sparkly duct tape. 

I made a TNT pinata for Disabling the bomb (Thanks One Creative Mommy for the idea). We had spy and magnifying glasses cupcake toppers. Letters that spelled out a secret code were taped all over the bouncy house for crack the code and physical conditioning. Instead of pin the tail on the donkey, we had pin the sunglasses on the secret agent for disguise work. The laser maze was set up on the side of the house. The missing treat bags were hidden until the party goers completed their training and used the clues to locate them.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much the kids enjoyed assembling their marshmallow shooters.
A couple of kiddos left their marshmallow shooters white, but most of them decorated them with different colors/themes of duct tape. I had marshmallow shooter diagrams available for the kids to use or they could come up with their own design. It was funny listening to them discuss their designs. Many had to make tweaks on airflow issues after they tried a few practice marshmallows. J4 added a scope to his.

After the recruits initialed the completion of their weapons assembly training, they were free to begin target practice. I tied string between two trees and set up a couple of rows of balloons for target practice. The kids shot at the balloons for all of ten seconds before they turned the shooters on each other. Luckily, I had them covered with protective eye wear. Some of the boys laughed and said the sunglasses were almost "too cheesy" to wear.
They had a blast shooting marshmallows at each other. My husband swiped my pink and sparkly marshmallow shooter and played, too.
Before they could initial the completion of their target practice training, the recruits had to collect all the their spent shells. (Hee hee, that was a sneaky way of making sure they picked up all the marshmallows in the yard.)

The next phase of training was navigating through a laser maze while my husband shot marshmallows at each recruit.
I used a clipboard to protect myself from incoming marshmallows. I love that my mom went through the maze, too. She is so much fun!
Once we reached the safety of the backyard it was time for a little physical conditioning, also known as "don't hurt each other in the bouncy house". While the recruits were jumping, they had to retrieve 28 letters that were taped all over the inside of the bouncy house.
I called each recruit out one at a time to write down their secret agent name on a pair of sunglasses for the Disguise Work - Pin the Sunglasses on the Secret Agent. Once everyone had chosen their name, it was time for them to line up for Disguise Work.

The recruits started arguing about where they should be in line. So, I told them they had to line up in alphabetical order by their secret agent name. (Yes, sneaky learning practice!) Axios went first and Wrath was last.
We took a break from training to have pizza, veggies, and fruit for lunch. When they were ready, we continued training with code cracking work. I let them work for a few minutes before I gave the hint that each word was a different color. They did a great job using teamwork to figure it out.


Attached to the key under the table, not this table, was a note written in a teeny tiny 3 point font. Boogs had to use a magnifying glass to read the clue to the group.
The clue said, "Use the key to unlock the fence. Look up to find what you seek. Let the birthday boy take point on this mission." The kids ran around to the front of the house and could not find what they were looking for. They eventually figured out that the key was for the back gate into the greenbelt behind our house.
They searched a couple of trees until they found the one with the missing treat bags. Boogs brought the bags to the backyard and distributed them.
The kids really liked the whoopie cushions, fake noses, and fingertip lasers best.
With bags in hand, it was time to disable the pinata bomb.
I made a strong pinata this year. It took three rounds before it broke enough for the candy to fall out.
Happy Birthday Boogs! Cupcakes for all of the secret agent training graduates.
It was a fun party and Boogs had a great time hanging out with his friends. My husband and I have decided this will be the last year for the bouncy house. The boys are getting too big and too rough to play safely in there. It made me a bit nervous when they were all in there. I had to use my "ugly voice" several times to get them to stop doing things in which people could get hurt. We had a few tears, but no permanent damage. Boogs and his friends didn't seem to mind the sneaky learning activities included in his party - STEM, ABC order, spelling, and deductive reasoning.

Boogs always comes up with great themes for his parties. Click each party word to see past birthday themes: Bug Party (3 yrs), Lego Party (6 yrs), Minecraft Party (7 yrs), Skylander Party (8yrs), and Kirby Party (9 yrs).

This post is linked to: Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall SharingSaturdayoption2-150 photo SharingSaturdayoption2-150_zpsba88f805.jpg

Big Catch-Up

I feel like I have abandoned this blog. Sorry Grandmaman!!! We have been keeping busy just living life. Here's a bit of what's been going on during the past three months. (Warning: Picture overload)

Boogs had temporary hair dye for Crazy Hair Day at school. He used a Christmas gift card to get some new reading material. He loves trips to the book store.
Boogs still enjoys his Tang Soo Do classes, especially when they get to work with staffs.
We spent a fun morning participating in activities at our school's Science Day.
Boogs bravely put this cute critter around his neck. I said, "NO THANKS!"
The 4th Graders went to school on 100's Day dressed up like old people. I loved Boogs' bushy eyebrows.
Our sweet Chinese Dwarf Hamster, Kiya, is still getting lots of love and attention.
The weather in February was nice enough to spend time at the skate park.
Boogs and I both took our scooters for a spin.
 Boogs is making amazing dinners these days. He tried his hand at cooking steak & lobster.
Boogs has a weekly appointment about three blocks away from Chuy's. Chuy's is his favorite restaurant. We've had to stop in each week for a little chips, salsa, and creamy jalapeno sauce.
Days at the park included washing mud off your shoes in the little creek. Somehow, Boogs' shoes managed to float away.
Yep, they were pretty wet.
It has been such a nice Spring. We have really enjoyed our outings to different parks.
I love this picture of Boogs in the sand at the volleyball court.
Boogs did an excellent job on his QUEST presentation about the Mayan Civilization. He spent a long time researching his topic. It was really neat watching him prepare and practice for his presentation.
Daddy, Nonnie, and Poppa came to see his report.
Boogs attended his green belt testing for Tang Soo Do.
Here he is receiving his brand new green belt.
We are proud of his hard work.
This display was at our local grocery store. Boogs insisted that I get a picture of him with the Peanuts gang.
Some park days were definitely hotter than we thought they would be. 91 degrees in March? Why!?!
 We had to leave the park and go cool off at the swimming pool.
 Boogs had some interesting leaps and spins off the diving boards.
We spent one of our Spring Break days at McKinney Falls State Park with a friend that I have known since I was in kindergarten. Her girls are pretty close to Boogs' age.
It was a fun day. I always bring extra clothes for Boogs when I know we are going to be around water. For some reason, I packed two sets of dry clothes on this day. It was a good thing because he had to share his dry clothes with my friend's daughter. We threw their wet clothes on top of our cars to dry while we hiked and had a picnic.
 How could you possibly fall in?
Oops, I think he might have gotten his pants a little wet.
McKinney is a beautiful park. When I was a little older than Boogs, I went on an overnight campout at McKinney with my 5th grade class. It is still a wonderful place to explore. The kids had fun swinging on the vines.

 It is hard to believe that C and I have known each other for 40 years. Whew, we are old!
 Boogs and I are rarely photographed together. I had to hold him still for this picture.
Here is Boogs in his "dry" shorts. He looked at me and said, "What? I am trying not to get wet." I don't think all of that trying was working very well.
 The bluebonnets were out in force in March.
We tried not to crush too many flowers when we took this picture. It was pretty amazing to actually get two pics of Boogs and I together in one day.
Boogs joined a stroke and conditioning swim class for the month of March to get ready for the upcoming summer swim season. The pool was heated. Some days he swam in the rain and some days he swam in the sunshine.
Easter at Mom's - the confetti eggs were already being handed out when we arrived.

 

 
We had a big group this year - my brother & sister and their families, my parents, and my husband's parents.
Uncle Robert tackled Boogs and started cracking his toes just like our grandpa used to do to us. 
After dinner, we had our Easter egg hunt in the dark. The big kids like to participate in the egg hunt because there are quarters in each egg instead of candy. Everyone strapped on a headlamp or grabbed a flashlight for the hunt. The pictures did not turn out all that great. You could see little bouncing balls of light all over the backyard.


Boogs found $9.75 worth of eggs. It was a successful hunt. Thanks Nonnie for making it so much fun.



I am shocked that we are already into the month of April. This year is flying by. It will be summer before we know it.

This post is linked to:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall