Neat Stuff

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Tomorrow is Cindy’s birthday and surprisingly, she wanted to spend the weekend at Disney World. I was working in Tampa, so drove up here a little early to check-in and get things set-up. Cindy picked-up the boys early from school and headed down.

Happy Birthday Button

We’re staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and will be spending this evening and tomorrow at Cindy’s favorite park: Animal Kingdom.

Resort Room Looking out the window

We had a few minutes before we had to get to the park, so the boys chilled out for a bit in the hammocks on the beach outside the room…

Hammock

Soon it was time to go, so the boys dumped the sand out of their shoes and we took-off to Animal Kingdom. We had a Fast Pass for the “Expedition Everest” rollercoaster. Alex didn’t want to ride, so Cindy and Adam went on…

Expedition Everest

We also had a Fast Pass for the “Na’vi River Journey” in Pandora, so before we ate dinner, we visited the Na’vi…

Na'vi River Journey

and then took some pictures…

Pandora Waterfall

then, as the sun was going down, we enjoyed our Pandora feast…

Pandora Drink Pandora Meal Pandora Dessert

After dinner, we had our last Fast Pass for the “Rivers of Light Nighttime Experience,” which turned out to be AWESOME!

River of Light

River of Light

River of Light River of Light

River of Light

River of Light

When the show was over, we headed for the gate because the park was closing. What a fun night! Back at the hotel, the boys chilled a bit before bed…

In Bed

but not for long! Tomorrow will be a busy day!

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Today Adam had a poetry reading at school…and not just any reading, either. The class was set-up like one of those coffee-houses popular with the Beat Generation in the 50’s and 60’s. Parents were invited to listen to their kids, but instead of clapping, everyone just snapped their fingers!

Adam read a couple of his poems…

Nachos

So spicy could be
crunchy and sweet
could tickle your throat
So skinny and round
taste like cheese with
my yellow dip or more
spicy with the hot red dip
Mexican food so chippy
so yummy explodes so
common
so delicious so smelly
super smooth
Nachos!

and this one about his dog, Charlie…

Dogs!

I am a dog
I have fur
My skin is gold
I have sharp teeth
BARK! BARK!
I am fast
I love water
I have a big black nose.

Lay it on me, man, I dig it!

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Well, it looks like the annual sickness has run its course and everyone is feeling better. Though the air is still a little cool, we decided to take the boat out for some fresh air! Charlie was thrilled!

Boat Day

The water was a little choppy, so we had to take it slower than usual (to the boys’ disappointment), but hey, a bad day boating is still better than a good day at work, amiright?

Boat Day

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Today, Adam was recognized by his teacher and the school for his “trustworthiness”…

Award Invite

He actually looked a little uncomfortable standing on the stage in front of the school and guests. Funny, since he’s normally such a showoff…

Adam gets award

But any discomfort he might have felt evaporated quickly and he was back to his old self again…

Adam gets award

and his “old self” includes crinkling-up the award certificate, which we’re very proud of anyway…

Certificate

Great work, Buddy!

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Alex is watching a movie in his makeshift theater…

Movie Theater

What an imagination!

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It’s a great day for baseball! Charlie came to the game today and hung-out with Dad to watch the game…

Dad and Charlie at the game

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Adam wanted to pitch during fall ball, but he was overshadowed by other players on the team and didn’t get the opportunity. So we practiced during the winter months to improve his skill and tonight he led the team from the mound for the first time!

Adam on the Mound

He did great! Although the other team got a couple of hits, they couldn’t score…

Adam on the Mound

before Adam struck-out three and headed back to the dugout!

Adam on the Mound

He was very proud of himself…and so were we!

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The boys have a class history project to present. Both of them had to choose a famous person and research their life, develop a timeline of their life and document pertinent history, put together a storyboard, and come to school dressed AS that person. They also have to answer questions from their classmates about their subject person.

Alex chose Sitting Bull…

Alex's School Project

While Adam chose Jackie Robinson…

Adam's School Project

They helped Mom and Dad make their costumes…

Costumes

and joined their classmates in presentations…

Presentations Presentations

Mom was able to attend and said they both did very well. Their teachers must have agreed because they each received an “A”!

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After each basketball game, the boys are recognized by their coach for their actions and attitudes on the court through the presentation of game day stars. The stars are multi-colored and represent the following attributes:

  • Blue = Effort
  • Red = Defense
  • Gray = Offense
  • Gold = Sportsmanship
  • White = Christlikeness

We’re about two-thirds of the way through the season and each week, the boys bring me their stars to attach to their uniform…

Upward Stars

Then we talk about what they did during the game to earn that particular star. They take pride in their accomplishment and most importantly, they’re learning the importance of hard work on the court, teamwork, and sportsmanship!

It’s the first practice of the season and the boys are excited…Dad, too. Their team is the Cobras and they strike light lightening! (yeah, I made-up that part to eye-rolls from everyone 😉 ). The boys play in the Upward Basketball Program, which is a Christian sports league that focuses on developing athletes mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. In addition to recognizing the kids for offense and defense action on the court, they’re also recognized for their attitude in relations to effort, sportsmanship, and Christlikeness. This league is really a lot of fun!

There are a few kids on the team who haven’t played basketball before, so the coach works on fundamentals with the team. Alex and Adam are a little rusty, but pick-up quickly.

Shooting…

Alex Shoots

Adam Shoots

Dibbling (although the whole double-dribble thing is still a foreign concept)…

Alex Dribbles

and Passing…

Adam Passes

Then a little shooting past a defender and some rebounding…

Boys Playing Basketball

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