Dressed for Success

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Today was the Second Annual Mom and Son Nerf War. One of Cindy’s friends first put this together last year after her son commented that his sister got to go to the Daddy-Daughter dance, but there was nothing for him to do. And the rest is history!

As the event gets underway, Alex is packed and ready to go with his Nerf vest full of ‘bullets’ and Adam is talking strategy with his crew…

Alex is ready Adam is ready

They had a great time this afternoon, although Cindy says she feels a little sore after all the running around. Adam naturally says the kids won the war, but it really doesn’t matter. After all, the great memory of this day will overshadow any perceived victory.

Mom and the Boys

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Tomorrow is the last day of Spring Break for the boys, but it’s back-to-work for me. So, we’re going to make the most of this glorious Sunday afternoon with a family bike ride to Veteran’s Park…

Family Bikers

It’s a nice ride to the park.

Family Bikers Family Bikers

But the ride is only half the fun because…Sno-Cones! and whatever those twirlie-spinnie things are…

Family Bikers Family Bikers

As we head back home, we stop for a moment for one last picture by the pond.

Family Bikers

We got a boat to catch for dinner!

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The 2017 Fall Baseball Season starts today and Adam is playing for a new league in Julington Creek…this is Cal Ripkin baseball and he’s playing for the Braves…

Braves"

and we’re ready to go! HEY-BATTAH-BATTAH!

Braves" Braves"

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Today, the Den 1 boys wrapped-up their Good Knights Adventure. For the last couple of meetings they learned about the Knights of old and the code of chivalry, the rules by which they lived. The Tigers learned how much in common they have with these knights in that they live by the Scout Oath and Law, which together provide the rules by which the Scout behaves.

During this adventure, each scout made their very own shield and designed it around one aspect of the Scout Law…

This is Alex’s Shield: His design represents “Loyalty” This is Adam’s Shield: His design represents “Reverence”
Alex's Shield Adam's Shield

We had a great time with this adventure and at the end of the meeting, all the Tigers got together for a picture with their shield’s in hand…

Shields

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Today the Den 1 Tigers went on a hike to complete the requirements for their Tiger advancement. Each of the scouts had their hiking “essentials” in their backpack as we took off together through the forest, stopping at the edge of the St John’s River for a rest and a quick snack before moving on again.

A fun day!

Tigers in the Wild

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Today’s the DAY! The boys are EIGHT-years-old and what better way to celebrate this momentous occasion than with a STAR WARS JEDI TRAINING PARTY?!? So, we invited about a bazillion of their closest friends…

Star Wars Invite

Of course, Mom and Dad still have A LOT to do to get ready for the party this afternoon, but before we get started, the boys’ enjoy the pre-party opening of presents…

Pre-Party

Cindy really went all-out with the decorations and the food! Which, of course, made much more work for ME! Not really, Cindy put almost all of this together herself!! All the food was Star Wars themed, like “Obi-Wan Kabobbies”, “Jedi Juice”, and “Edible Ewoks”.

Happy Birthday Banner

Food Food
Food Darth Vader Mister
Happy Birthday Banner The Force is Strong

And R2D2, C3PO, and Yoda came for the party, too…

R2D2 and C3PO Yoda

F-I-N-A-L-L-y it was time for the party, so the boys put on their Padawan garb and the kids arrived, then more kids came, then even more kids. We had several games planned that served as Jedi Training, like Balance-The-Balloon-On-The-Lightsaber, Death-Star-Hot-Potato, etc., so on. Each game had a little poem the Jedi Master Trainer would read to explain the rules of the game, like this one for the Emperors-Lightening-Bolt-Silly-String-Game…

With the dark side, the Emperor is strong
To defeat him, you’ll need a good jolt
You’ll show him with the Jedi you belong
If you can withstand his lightening bolt

So, the kids all had a can of silly string and like Adam…

Adam Silly String

There was also plenty of time for the kids to make-up their own games, like Alex and Westin…

Alex and Westin Alex and Westin

The highlight of the party was this huge Star Wars pinata! In fact, it was the only time we really got any semblance of organization from this rowdy group of Padawans…

Alex and the Pinata Adam and the Pinata

and when the Pinata finally busted open, it was a mad scramble to get the goodies!

Pinata Scramble

So, after a delicious dinner of “Hut” Dogs, the Boys’ were regaled with a chorus of the “Happy Birthday” song from their fellow Padawans…

Happy Birthday

And later that evening, after all of the Padawans had received their Jedi certificates and “goodie bags”, the boys started the day much like it began, with a post-party opening of presents…

After Party
After Party Alex After Party Adam

Yoda, who always seems to know just what to say, summed it up pretty well as he headed back to Dagobah: “A GREAT DAY IT WAS!”

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This year we took to the boat for our annual family Christmas pictures. We docked on Julington Creek, set-up the camera, then set the timer…again and again. As always there’s one or two good ones in the bunch. Don’t know if these will make the final cut (that’s Cindy’s job), but you get the picture (pun intended)…

Family Boat

…and outside the boat…

Family Boat

Getting a good picture of the boys and Charlie is a lot like herding cats…

Family Boat

We spent about 30-minutes taking pictures. In between Cindy’s arranging the boys, the dog, and the boat, I snapped the scenery…

Deck

When the pictures were done, we headed back to the marina. The sun was getting low in the sky, so we took our time. The boys napped under the watchful eyes of their best friend…

Sunset

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Once again, the boys’ school held a Veteran’s Day celebration. This is always a fun experience. The kids are asked to invite family members that are veterans to participate. I retired from the Air Force before the boys’ first birthday and they’ve never seen me in my uniform (other than pictures, of course). So, I shaved my beard and pulled the old BDUs out of the box in the garage. To my surprise, it still fit (albeit a bit tighter)…I’m certainly a lot greyer, though!

The Old Airman

This year there was a presentation in the cafeteria by the older kids, then the vets went to the various “houses” (first grade area, section grade area, etc.) to participate their kid’s, grandkid’s activity. The boys took part in the group event with other members of their cub scout pack, lining-up on stage for the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem. Adam and Alex looked great!

There were several vets connected to first graders in the “Fire House”. All the kids classes lined up and sand several verses of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” for us, then there was a Q&A, which was a lot of fun!

Alex Adam

It was a very special day for this old Chief…

The Old Chief

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It’s finally here: All Hallows Eve or Halloween, for short. The one night we tell our kids it’s okay to take candy from strangers. Anyway, this year the boys presented a couple of unique challenges with regard to their costumes. Alex wanted to be Ant Man, which seems simple enough. After all, the movie just came out last year, right? WRONG! We couldn’t find an Ant Man costume anywhere! We’ll that’s not entirely true because obviously we DID find one, but it wasn’t easy! And Adam wanted to be a Zombie, which required makeup. You’re thinking, “that’s not so bad,” except Adam had to go look in the mirror every two minutes to inspect my progress. So, finally, after all our efforts, Ant Man meets The Zombie…

Ant Man meets the Zombie

And they we’re having fun…although Adam doesn’t look like he’s having fun, he explains that “Zombies never look happy”.

Adam Zombie Alex Antman Adam Zombie Alex Antman

Meanwhile…

Our grandkids are ready for a great night of “Tricks or Treats,” too. We’ve always talked about how Oliver looks like Spot from the movie, The Good Dinosaur, well, Jess outdid herself with this one! Meet Spot and Arlo (a.k.a Carter John). Oliver even has leaves in his hair!

Spot and Arlo

And Kameran was “Deadpool Chick” from the movie Deadpool. Now, I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know if she’s “a” Deadpool Chick or “the” Deadpool Chick, all I know is that she’s too cute! From all the pictures of Deadpool I’ve seen online, a/the Deadpool Chick would need to have a couple of swords on her back, but not this one! Instead of breaking heads, it looks like Kam is going to be breaking hearts…

Deadpool Chick

Happy Halloween

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The boys wanted to join the cub scouts this year. The scouts are still a great organization for teaching kids positive values. So, Alex and Adam are in Den 1, and their mom is the Den Leader and their dad is the Asst Den Leader. Today is their first den meeting.

I’m sure if they gave merit badges for smiles, they’d earn them easily…at least for “doing their best”. LOL

Scouts

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