Sunday, August 29, 2010

Soccer Clinic and Halfway Party

Saturday was a pretty busy day for us compared to normal. It started bright and early with a soccer clinic.
We switched organizations this season. We just couldn't afford what it was costing to go with the really popular one here so I started asking around. Low and behold there is a homeschool soccer organization called B.E.A.C.H. 
I was initially a little hesitant. After all, I don't want the boys completely sheltered from normal society. Our registration cost was half what it was with the other organization and from their website it seemed there is more an emphasis on helping develop the kids rather than just letting them play. So we tried it.

This Saturday was the clinic that starts off their soccer season.
Joshua is playing with a 5-7 year old boys team and Jeremiah is playing with the 4 year old soccer tots. They seem to really like it so far.
Hopefully they'll still like it when they have to get up and ready every Saturday morning!
Later the same day was the Halfway party for our squadron.
 It's technically more than halfway but it was nice to celebrate anyway!
So we should be on the downhill slope of this deployment... in theory.
Hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Friday, August 27, 2010

First Day of School

Today marks the end of our first week of our new homeschooling adventure.
 Here are our pictures from the first day.

It's going really well so far! I have been learning a lot along the way and we're tweaking it slightly each day. The boys are definitely being flexible with me. I'm learning more about both of them, what they already know and what they understand.
 Hopefully at some point I'll find the groove that's right for us. They both keep blowing me away! We haven't had to back track on anything yet. We've only pushed forward in a couple subjects to find material that is  more at their level.
Can I just take a minute to brag on my husband? He's the one who makes the whole homeschool thing possible. Not only does he do a wonderful job serving our country but he also brings home the bacon for us so I have the freedom to be there and do this for the boys. I couldn't be more proud of the man he has become over the years or more grateful!

Neighborhood Festival

This last weekend there was a festival a few blocks away. Since the boys and I were heading to the pool in the same area anyway, we stopped and ended up having a great time!

The boys haven't done a whole lot of carnival games yet so it was really fun to watch them try.

They won a few little prizes. This one was my personal favorite. I'm sure you can see why.

They even got cotton candy with some spare change out of the car.

The bounce houses were a particular favorite. Even Jeremiah got in on the fun for a little bit! (He's not a huge fan of bounce houses overall).

The pool was awesome on such a warm day! It was a great way to pull the free time of summer to a close.

Concord, North Carolina

This was our very last stop, just like it was our first. This time going through we had more time so the boys really enjoyed extra time with family there.
 They ask for their cousins constantly when we're home so it was nice that they were able to have some time together.
They even had some fun taking some pictures together.
This one was their idea. I thought it turned out pretty cute.
This one was Uncle Adam's idea. I think it turned out really awesome as well!

While we were in North Carolina we were able to enjoy time with all sorts of other relatives than just their cousins.This is Papa Pickle. His birthday was right after mine so we wanted to get an extra special picture with him before we left as well.
After a couple of days we headed back home.
It was such an amazing trip for the boys and I to be able to go on. Hopefully it won't be another 3 years before we find our way back to Oklahoma.

Nashville, Tennessee

Our drive to Nashville was longer so we just headed to our hotel for the evening after dinner. The next day we got up and headed into the heart of town.
We couldn't see the Grand Ol' Opry because the museum part was closed due to a flood.
 So we decided to just walk around and see what we could see. The boys were enamored with these life size figures outside of the businesses along the main streets.

A bit hit were the Elvis ones. Could it be that not just a couple weeks ago they had been introduced to Elvis in a big way??

It was so quiet when we first got there. We must have beat the crowds. It was so much more crowded when we left.

After walking around for a bit we got a call saying some of our friends from Illinois were in town.  Matt and Anne with their adorable little girl, Rilyn.

We had matched up our dates ahead of time. It was so great to see them again!

 After lunch at Hard Rock we headed to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

This was such an awesome museum! Their entire upper story has art experiences for kids!

They did water color, block arranging, transfer printing, sketching... and more! After a completely enriching experience at this museum, we headed back on the road toward North Carolina. It would be our last stop before reaching home.

Little Rock

Did you know there's next to nothing to do in Little Rock?? I do! Well... now I do. We did the 2 things I found tempting in the area.
 As soon as we got into town we visited the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.

It was pretty neat, actually! Both boys sat in the President's chair and acted as leaders of other important parts of our government. (In case you're wondering, I did tell him to put his feet down... right after I took the picture).
The saw a reproduction of the Oval Office.

Then the highlight of the day... the shuttle ride.

You have to ride a shuttle to the gift shop (or drive, but it's so close it's silly. Not really a safe place to walk, though, given the traffic). Josh asked to ride in the front. Are my boys really old enough to ask to do these things?? I could hardly believe it! But I let him anyway. Part of the process of gradually letting go, I guess. After shuttling back to our car, being disappointed by our completely melted gummy worms, we headed to the hotel for the night.
 The next day was one of the highlights of our trip! TheMuseum of Discovery.
 I'm pretty sure whoever set up this museum had the boys and I in mind. We could have easily spent a couple days working our way through this one museum.
 We were limited to our 2 hour parking spot and still had hours of driving ahead of us that day,...
... so we didn't get to do and see everything.

But with that we left Little Rock and headed toward Tennessee... Nashville and stardom! Or not. But you know, a girl can dream.

Leaving Tulsa

The day before we departed from Tulsa we had a lot of catching up to do! I had several things on my list to see before we could leave. First came the big hands.
 These are at Oral Roberts University. Not a fan or anything but I thought the hands were really neat!

Then there was the fact that we were driving on Route 66 quite a lot down there. I wanted to commemorate it for them. It might not be from that long ago, but it's still a part of history.

Then there's the Tulsa oil driller guy. Not sure what he's called but he's HUGE!

Then there was the water park we had talked about taking them to over and over during the trip.
 We probably could have stayed here all day but it was so hot that even in the shade the grown ups were miserable! Jeremiah even let go of his reluctance a bit and got wet from head to toe!

We also got one last fishing trip in. The boys loved fishing! Uncle Randy taught me how to take a fish off the hook and everything!

We caught a bunch more fish... none of which came home with us!
 Then there were the boys with their blue eyes, long eyelashes and cute smiles. I love these boys!
Then the next day we had to really leave.

We took some pictures with Auntie Verna and Uncle Randy (who, to clarify, are actually Phil's Aunt and Uncle).

Even got a picture of just the two of them. They're so cute and we love them and miss them. However, we had a dog and a house waiting for us so we drove away.
Joshua cried the first 20 minutes of our trip. Talk about heart-wrenching! We were, however, still headed for Little Rock.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Almost Leaving Tulsa

The next few days of our trip were pretty peaceful. The boys picked out some more flowers to take to Auntie Verna.

We celebrated my birthday.

It was a good day, even though it was spent without my hubby. I was treated to breakfast and lunch. I was able to talk to Phil for a while. We visited a museum that was one of my favorites from our trip. I couldn't have asked for a nicer birthday.
 The day before we left Tulsa, we took a trip out to see Uncle Tyler at work.
 Since Uncle Tyler works at a garage, this was the next best thing to a candy store for the boys.

So many cars, so many tools, so many machines!
 Tyler barely had the time and patience to give answers to all the questions!

We went out to lunch together and the boys fought over his ballcap. When we took Tyler back to work he got the boys one of their own. Now the boys wear it about every other day.
The boys really miss Uncle Tyler and talk about him often. We did more this day of our trip but we took so many pictures I'll have to save that for another post another day.

In a bit of a real time update, we're almost at the end of our first week of homeschooling. This week has been an adventure in and of itself and the learning curve is still really high for me. I'll put up some pictures as updates about this once I finally get all these updates from our trip caught up. I promise I'll get caught up eventually!