Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hey, Remember Me?

This has been a flashing whirlwind of a school year. We lived through runaway dogs, a pregnant kitty, the notorious mega virus and a FLOODING of deeply terrible news from our dear ones. Then there was the assemblage of the teenage roller coaster, the curriculum folly's and body issues from martial art wounds to loosing glasses etc.. preventing school work form being done for a time.

We then jumped full swing into the end-of-school-year entourage of celebrations.

The Drama club had many extra practices in preparation of the big show as well as a sophisticated dinner. One of the club members is in the beginning stages of a career in party planning. He used his skills here to host a lovely gathering complete with decorations, a multi-course meal and drama related activities. As for the show, it was pulled off brilliantly...such talent! We were truly impressed.

Both boys moved up in the world of martial arts. Ricky passed his Jr. Black Belt test. Billy passed his official Black Belt test. So we now have three Black Belts in the house..fear us!

B.E.S.T. had an all family celebration at the Island Water Park. What a wonderfully fun filled day! They then combined the Youth BBQ/ Swim party with the Bible Face Off final challenge. My boys made out pretty well...for the record Billy's team came in 2nd place (Yippee!!). Ricky's team did absolutely phenomenal given what they had to work with. Ricky's team was actually the combination of two groups of kids left over because most of both original teams bailed out half way through the school year. Of the kids that remained, many were there by protest..not studying or really able to contribute much for the new team. I am so proud of Ricky for not only being part of a minority carrying the team, but also being a great sport about it all.

We have our own precious end-of-year tradition. In our little school we celebrate the hard work that went into the studies of each year. This is pretty much the only time the boys wear ties. We get dressed up, go to their restaurant of choice and they even get desert (this years choice was El Cid's). We give them a certificate of completion made with our school stationary. We also give them the badges that they've earned for the Contender's program we incorporate into our schooling. You can check the program out at

Billy had a wonderful time at his first High School Formal with CHEFA. He looked so grown up, so handsome in his suit and tie. He enjoyed a lovely dinner and danced his heart away. CHEFA set aside a special time for the Sr's. to talk and showcase themselves, this was a real inspiration for Billy!

Both boys enjoyed the Civil War Ball put on by BEST. Becky made the boys costumes and they tied in first place for most authentic and most creative. Jeff and I were on the Ball committee so we had to dress the part as well. We were servants. Becky made me a costume and we just stuck Jeff in black & white work clothes making it look time period by adding black suspenders.

For the first time as a family, we attended two homeschool conventions. Jeff and I usually go alone. However both CHEFA & CHEA had classes specifically geared for teens that I wanted my guys to participate in. I have to say, they weren't to keen on the idea of doing"school work" on a vacation or during summer break. In the end, they had a really great time & are looking forward to next years classes. They even exchanged cyber info with some kids they met at CHEA.

We then went into a pandemonium of summer activities. Including Billy spending the fist month of summer intensely finishing his skill requirements to prepare for a trip to the Channel Islands. There he was officially certified as a scuba diver after presenting his mad-skills. During that time Jeff, Ricky & I took turns fighting a virus. Ricky did manage to have a sleep over with Bowen and a trip to Raymond to shoot with the Jeff's. However for the most part he was laying around watching movies in his room. This virus kicked his asthma into full gear, so he was garrisoned with a humidifier. More on the other activities later.....

Of course you knew we weren't going to sit still all summer long. However all that is calming down and we are sooo ready for some peaceful lonesome time. I made a sign during the hustle and bustle to remind us, if we needed reminding. "Boredom is a Blessing and Sleep is a Gift...Breath it in" So on that note we have prepared for chill time. The hammocks are hung. The books have been selected. Netflix has been stuffed. We have secured campsites for eagerly-anticipated-relaxing-family-connecting-memory making-journeys. (Boy that's a mouthful!)We have little get aways planned both by the sea and in the mountains. We will be collecting metal badges for the boys to nail to their wooden hiking sticks from a few more spots.

For us our real summer is July. We are not owned like in June or even August. No end of school year or beginning of school year rituals or activities, we are free as birds. Yay!! for free form summer loafing, and catching a breath or two!!

This will be our last summer together, well in a way. What I mean is this is our last summer to relish in special alone time with our boys. Next summer we will be in Fresno which means easy access to friends and activities. Not to mention Billy will be driving. Jeff and I are very aware that our boys are morphing into men preparing to take flight. That's as it should be. However being aware gives us fortitude in the situation.

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