Friday, June 8, 2018

Goodbye 6th Grade

WOW! How did this school year go by so fast? It seems like I only posted this first day of 6th grade picture the other day. We have made it a tradition to pose in front of our front door on the first and last day of each school year so we can see Boogs' growth over the school year. Boogs usually wears the same clothes on the first and last day of the year.
1st Day
Last day
I can't believe I am posting his last day of school picture. He is still wearing the same shirt, but those pants are no longer with us, they had a gigantic hole ripped in the knee shortly after the first day of school. Plus, it is way too hot to wear pants right now, 100 degree days. Boogs was so happy for the last day of school to arrive. I made sure to tell him there were only 69 days until his first day of 7th grade. I'm so mean!

Here are a few pics of Boogs' school year.
He looks so grown up heading off to wait for the bus. He only rode the bus one time. A neighbor organized a carpool for three families. The bus to his school picks up 6th grade through 12th grade. He said there was a lot of bad language and bad attitudes on the bus. I was happy to carpool.
This is what he wore to the first 6th grade dance. It was funny. Most of the boys stayed in the gym to play basketball while most of the girls were dancing in the cafeteria.
Boogs "allowed" me to chaperone his first dance. He told me I could not take pictures, but I could not resist. I was "banned" from chaperoning the two other dances he attended this year.
He was running away from me so quickly, I could only get a couple of blurry pics.
Boogs played the trombone this year. He seems to really like it and is going to continue with band next year. He had two concert performances this year.
Can you see his little blond head in the center of the band? Next year, he will be in the Symphonic Band.
The last school dance he went to was 1980s themed. Boogs wanted me to help him copy the hairstyle of the lead singer of The Flock of Seagulls. I think we nailed it.
Since I was banned from attending the dance, we took a few "sullen rocker" posed pictures before the dance. He said he had a lot of fun but the kids really didn't know who he was. Several kids asked if he was Wolverine.
Daddy tried to get the perfect rocker shot.
 Nailed it!

Boogs asked me to chaperone his 6th grade field trip. He told me he would like for me to come but that does NOT lift the school dance ban.
His class went to a really neat place called The Science Mill in Johnson City, Texas. It took 1.5 hours to get there. There were at least 50 hands-on exhibits, a 3D Meerkat movie, a lesson on programming a mini robot, and time outside to explore some larger exhibits. He asked if we could go back to the Science Mill this summer with a few friends and really explore everything.

Middle school took a bit of getting used to. The independence expectations are high with very little communication with parents. The kids were expected to relay information to parents. Sometimes this was rough. Sometimes Boogs had to stay up way past his bedtime to complete assignments before due dates. Sometimes he lost points for late work and sometimes he failed to turn work in.

Getting a treat for making all A Honor Roll for the six weeks.
Boogs has grown and matured so much this year. We are very proud of him.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Scuba Diving Jr. Advanced Certification

Boogs turned 12 in April, which meant he was able to take a class to receive his next level of scuba certification. Kids can get their Jr. Open Water Certification at age 10, which Boogs did when he turned 10. The Jr. Open Water Certification allowed for Boogs to dive to 40 feet. He has been on about 25 lake and ocean dives since he got certified two years ago.  He spent one weekend last month, taking his class for Jr. Advanced Open Water Certification. This advanced certification allows him to dive to 60 feet. I find it interesting that the Jr. scuba class materials are exactly the same as the materials used for adults. For adults, Open Water means diving to 60 feet and Advanced Open Water means diving up to 120 feet. Boogs and I spent the three weeks before his class working through the advanced diver manual. I had to make sure Boogs really understood all of the information, completed the quizzes, and was carefully paying attention to safety information.
My husband went with Boogs to Lake Travis for the class. Once my husband got there, he called me to gather all of his scuba equipment because he could not stand waiting on the shore while he could be diving. He ran into a friend at the lake and was able to borrow an air tank. The second day of the class, my husband and his friend joined Boogs on the boat. They went on their own dives while dive master Mike worked with Boogs.
Boogs taking a giant stride into Lake Travis.
My husband taking a giant stride into Lake Travis.
Mike said Boogs is a better diver than many of the adults he has worked with. Boogs listens carefully, works through the proper dive checklist, follows directions, and is very focused while diving.

Boogs had to complete 5 dives: peak performance bouyancy, navigation, deep, boat, and search & recovery. The only thing Boogs had any trouble with was tying knots underwater. The water was so cold, Boogs said his fingers were a bit numb. He liked the search & recovery dive the best. He found several pairs of sunglasses, a necklace, an Apple Watch, and a couple of other things.
With Mike wearing some of the sunglasses they found.
Daddy and Boogs with some more recovered items.

Boogs and Daddy found a little turtle on the shore near the boat.

Boogs said he had a great time, he learned a lot, and nearly froze to death. He is happy to have completed his next level of scuba certification. Last summer, Boogs told me part of his life plan is to take a gap year after high school graduation, before going to college. He plans to travel around the world to scuba dive in as many places as possible. He plans to work on dives boats as he travels to pay for his expenses. Boogs has to wait until he is 15 to upgrade his certification and no longer be considered a Jr. diver. He wants to get his Master Diver Certification before he begins his world travels.

This summer, we are taking a family dive trip to Bonaire. It is a small island municipality of the Netherlands that lies about 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela. We have never been to South America and are looking forward to our next diving adventure. 

This post is linked to:

Country Kids

Revisiting A Park

In May, before it became ridiculously hot, Boogs and I revisited one of the parks we used to go to when he was younger. When Boogs was about four months old, I joined a mom's group. This was one of the parks we used to frequent with the group. It is where Boogs climbed his first tree.

It is a cool little park. It has a shady walking path around the perimeter, a pavilion with lots of picnic tables, and restroom facilities.
 I love all of the shade at this park.
They have added many new things since our last visit. Boogs and I really enjoyed the wooden swing.
The entire playscape has been redone. There used to be a scarily tall, worn out playscape without any shade cover. It was nice to see all of the improvements.
 There were several different structures in the big kid area and an entire new little kid area, too.
Boogs and I raced each other all over the playscape. I'm glad he is not too embarrassed to be seen with me. I know it is coming.
 Boogs almost made himself sick with all of the new spinning things on the playground.
I got a little quesy, too. The short pole spinner was FAST and difficult to stop.
After all of that running around, Boogs took a break at the top of this playscape before we went to the old swings.

It was pretty warm by the time we returned home. Boogs decided he needed to cool off by making water balloons. Unfortunately, I was his target. :-)
 He filled this balloon as much as he could. It eventually exploded on him.
We only have a few days left until summer break begins. I am counting the days.

This post is linked to:
Country Kids From Coombe Mill

Country Kids

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Boogs' Birthday(s)

My baby boy Boogs is now 12-years-old. I can't even believe it. This does not seem that long ago:
This year and last year, Boogs has decided on birthday celebrations that are not big parties at home. I loved planning the home parties and have kind of missed them. Boogs invited 7 friends to join him for an Escape Room adventure. You have to use codes, locks, puzzles, and brain teasers to solve the clues. This escape room was one you had to break into instead of break out of. You only have one hour to solve everything. To start, the boys had to get through three separate locks on the door to enter the room.
They managed to to get through the door in a decent amount of time.
Once in the room, they had lots of clues to solve to open these lockers. The lockers contained their prizes. When the hour was up, the boys had opened the bronze and the silver locks. They ran out of time to open the gold one. Boogs said it was fun, he was glad he did it, but he would not want a party here again.
We took everyone back to our house. Unfortunately, we had one freaky cold day that week and it was that day. The temperature dropped almost 40 degrees F from the day before and it went back up 20 degrees F by the next day. I set up our small soccer nets, had soccer balls, cones, and balloons outside for the boys to play with.
I was surprised by how much they liked hitting each other with the balloons.
I tried to give everyone jackets, but some kids declined.
 They lasted outside for about 30 minutes before they were too cold to stay out any longer.
We came inside for pizza, cake, gift opening, and a little cuddle with Boogs' hedgehog.
Happy 12th Birthday Boogs!

Last year, I never got around to posting about his 11th birthday. Sorry Grandmaman! Boogs asked for a party at Dart Em Up, a Nerf gun battle place.
Dart Em Up opened shortly before Boogs birthday last year. It is a very clean and well organized place. They have a "caller" who stands on a platform and gives instructions for each 5 (or so) minute game. The group had a blast running around dodging each other, capturing the flag, protecting the VIP, and other games. They were sweaty messes by the time they left the battle arena.

We have liked Dart Em Up so much that we've been back probably seven times in the past year. The owner is very nice. I had a student studying the Nerf company for a research project, the owner graciously let me send that student to interview him about the types of Nerf products he uses in his business.
The party room had a host. She kept things running, organized a couple of games, served the food, and was very patient with the kids.
After the food, the party moved to the arcade area. Everyone had a cup of tokens to use while they waited for their parents to pick them up.
Boogs said he really enjoyed this day about equal to his home parties. He is growing up so fast.

Click each party word to see past birthday parties. I miss the madness of organizing them. Bug Party (3 yrs), Lego Party (6 yrs), Minecraft Party (7 yrs), Skylander Party (8yrs), and Kirby Party (9 yrs), Secret Agent Party (10 yrs).