Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Memorial Weekend Fun at Camp

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Alyx fished a ton this trip but did not catch anything.

We caught a turtle named him Traveler and then sent him back to the lake after a couple of days of caring for him.
We did Tie Dyed T-Shirts it was fun this is Taylor's 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Meltdown postponed

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  I have had to postpone the New Monday Meltdown Blog Hop until June 4th I have been very sick. Started last Sunday with a sinus infection evolved into Bronchitis and now today I was diagnosed with Pneumonia. I am sorry to have to do this but need to work on getting better so I can function at full capacity for myself and my family. I promise to have it up and running next week so be sure to check back then.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Heritage History TOS Crew Review 2012

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                                We have been studying Rome this year and are always  on the hunt for valuable resources that do not break the bank to go along with our core studies. We also came to own a Kindle Fire this past Winter and the boys have taken a liking to doing as much work and reading on it as possible. I love that the Kindle has strengthened their love of reading. I guess we know what to get them for Christmas. As a crew member for TOS I was given the choice of one titles from Heritage History to review and use with the boys. I was super excited when I saw that one of the choices was Ancient Rome. What a blessing.

        Heritage History sent us our choice of History topics and as I said we chose Ancient Rome, we were sent the CD ROM and Teacher's Guide. The CD ROM is abundantly filled with 45 completely illustrated books, over 60 maps, time-lines, battle dictionaries, reading recommendations,geography terms, short biographies, historical era summaries, and study guide resources. I was so impressed with how easy Heritage History made it for me to transfer the files onto my Kindle. You can follow the easy directions for translating the files from the CD ROM into a format that will work with any E-Reader.
My kids even figured out how to transfer them to the Kindle it is as easy as picking the title you need to review and then exchanging it into the format for your particular E-Reader.  If you do not have an E-Reader you can view the files right on the computer or print them off to read them in paper print. 

I found the CD easy to navigate and find what I needed to work on with the boys, while there is no set schedule of learning it is grouped in a way that is useful for the teacher and student. The information is grouped by related readings,characters and events. While there is no Internet connection needed to use the CD there are web browsing tools included for ease of use. There are side tabs for scrolling and navigating that is helpful in using their curriculum on an E-Reader digital format. 
Having the boys history work on the Kindle really helped us now that it is camping season, with an hour and half drive here and cold or rainy days this was a perfect way for the boys to get their History reading done with curled up in their bunk in the camper. When they get to use the Kindle it makes it more fun for them and they tend to be more excited about their reading they need to do. What is it about technology that sparks the kids to do more work? I tend to not question it so long as the work gets done. 

Putting the Story Back into History

There are two quite distinct purposes of history; the superior purpose, which is its use for children, and the secondary, or inferior purpose, which is its use for historians. The highest and noblest thing that history can be is a good story.
—G. K. Chesterton

Welcome to Heritage History

If you are visiting the Heritage History electronic library for the first time, welcome! Our library contains hundreds of entertaining and easily-read history books which were written for students and non-specialists many years ago. Likewise, all the illustrations, maps, and other history-related material on our site were taken from traditional history books and student atlases that are no longer copyright protected and are available to republish without cost.
MINSTRELS SANG OF THE FAMOUS DEEDS OF HEROES, H. E. Marshall - English Literature for Boys and Girls The mission of Heritage History is to make old-fashioned history books, written for the enjoyment of young people, easily available. The complete text of every book in our library can be read directly off the website, and both printable and e-Reader formats are available at the Heritage Store.

At Heritage History, we seek to promote, not so much the study of history as the enjoyment of History. By making available old-fashioned history, as it was enjoyed as a pastime rather than studied as a subject, we hope to help reawaken the interest of a new generation.

Story Based History

Most of the books prepared for Heritage History take a old-fashioned, or story-based approach to presenting history, rather than an analytical or critical approach. Our books do not attempt to explain the "underlying forces" that influence history, or critique ancient notions of human rights, or focus on contrasts between cultures. Instead they are based simply on stories that have been retold for dozens of generations regarding individual characters, important conflicts, and events of special interest. The stories are connected by simple narrative threads and are shorn of complicated analysis.

Heritage History's online Library allows you to view over four hundred titles, sorted by genre, author, series, and civilization. Each book is listed according to difficulty: Green Links indicate introductory books, appropriate for older grammar school students; Brown Links refer to material appropriate for middle school; and Red Links indicate books that are appropriate for an intelligent high school student.
In addition to hundreds of books, the Heritage Library includes thousands of Historical Images, a database of Historical Characters and a complete Battle Dictionary. All can be sorted by name, date, and civilization. The Series page lists all of the books in the Heritage library that are part of a series so students who enjoy one book in a set can easily locate other similar volumes, and the Authors page provides some background information about some of Heritage History's most prolific authors.

While Heritage History has Young Readers History all of the others such as our Ancient Rome are geared for 4th Grade through High school and are wonderful for multi age teaching. I tend to lean towards multi age curriculum as it makes it easier on myself for teaching my boys who are in different grades and makes it easier for them to learn and they like to be working on the same school work at the same time. We love learning together as a family.  Heritage History makes learning History not only fun but affordable for us homeschool parents. The CD ROM that comes complete with all I described above for only $25 and you can then purchase the accompanying Study guide for $24.95 for the Full Color Print Version for @12.99 for the PDF download type.
Be sure to check out their website and see all of the available subjects and start your shopping for the new school year. I know we will be shopping for our new school year in the next month and Heritage History is top on my list, while it is not a full curriculum it is a valuable resource to stack with your core studies, giving your children a classical approach to History. Also be sure to check out all of the other TOS Crew reviews, as we all chose what suited our homeschools best there are many different reviews to be read. I am sure there is something that will fit your needs if Rome is not the one.

As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my
honest review. All opinions are mine.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday Favorite Camp Staff Part 1

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      We run into some cool camp staff while we are here and we get to know some of them pretty well, especially when it is calm and quiet up here. Here are a couple and I will spotlight a few each week so we can remember them in years to come.

  Activities Coordinator BREE (she will  be on Maternity leave soon) So wanted to make sure I got her in.

Our Pool Attendant for Adult Swim Sassy Savannah, she is really a whole lotta sweet and just a little bit Sassy. She is the one in green, she has been training all of the new pool people this week, these were taken while she taught water aerobics yesterday morning.

On another note it was fun to run into some friends from our homeschool co-op yesterday that came up unexpectedly, they belong here too, Alyx was excited to see all of her kids, another friend came in last night for 2 weeks so we will be spending some time with them before we go home on Monday. Alyx had some classes with the granddaughter so they know each other pretty well. He is glad to have a friend to do some of the activities with. I am working on feeling better, have visited the walk in clinic here twice this week both times came home with a few meds. Sinus infection, ear infection and bronchitis, OH Fun! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Meltdown May 21,2012

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              MELTDOWN MONDAY 

  To help vent some frustration off my chest I am going to take Mondays and have my Meltdown, As I see it some of you may benefit from this as you may be sharing some of the very frustrations that I am venting about each Monday. I will be working on a blog hop button and starting next Monday feel free to link up and share your Monday Meltdown.
    This week I am going to kick this concept off by venting about the campground I so blissfully blogged about last week during the 5 days of.... Blog Hop! Gone this weekend was my peaceful escape away. We could not swim, parents of the "weekend warriors" as one of our favorite security guards so eloquently put it, do not teach their children manners, heck they don't have manners themselves, let alone pass any on to their offspring.
       My Mom and I went for our usual morning adult swim, well we did not get to swim. Our first clue should have been when we walked into The Dome and it mimicked a trash dump. There were pizza boxes piled up and trash on the floor and dirty table tops, Now I would think if the Dome opens at 7 it would be somewhat clean by 7, I went into the upstairs restroom and there are three stalls. Behind door number 1, the handicapped stall it was plugged full of toilet paper and feces. Nice.... Door #2 NO toilet paper what so ever and there is room for 2 industrial size rolls.... Third times the charm with door number 3, toilet clean enough to use... I hope but floor full of TP and candy wrappers. Do these people live in a box??? What do they live like at home. God help them all. We proceeded to the locker room/pool house bathroom, One word EEWWW! Is that even a word I am not sure do not really care.  Every Shower was filled with Mud and dirt and get this TP.| REALLY???   The floor was just as nasty and all of the stalls were not in usable condition either. I could not bring myself to change let alone put my bare feet on the floor! Walked into the pool room and the water was so cloudy you could not see the logo on the bottom of the pool. Apparently some kid tossed his cookies in the pool the night before. UGGH!.

       My other beef was with the Sales people giving tours there is one small bridge wide enough for a golf cart and nobody or anything else at the same time, a couple years ago there were no golf carts allowed on the bridge apparently that has changed. My Mom and I use mobility scooters and several times have been half way across the bridge and a golf cart comes along more often with staff in it than not and they will not back down they expect us to yield to them and go backwards down the bridge to wait for them to pass, Seriously? Who taught these people etiquette, or were they ever taught at all? Where is the common courtesy? There is a 5 MPH speed limit here in the park, now granted I find that annoying myself but when you push the envelope and race down dirt roads that children are constantly crossing on. We yelled at a car full of Teens who by the way according to park rules need to be 18 to drive a motor vehicle on the property, going at least 25-30 kicking up dust all over the place and what did they yell back, a bunch of expletives that I will not repeat at all, ever. You kiss your Momma with that mouth. SHAME!
  I will not even get started about the children that are allowed to dress like hookers? Parents WAKE UP! Teach your kids Modesty! You will be amazed at the outcome....
     OK I am stepping off my soapbox now, I feel much better and I am glad that I can unload all the negative off my chest to start a new week with a FRESH attitude. Do you have things you see in the world or maybe even something that happens at home that you need to have a MELTDOWN about? I know everyone must have something. Please join me next week when I kick off the Meltdown Monday Blog Hop and shed the negative and start the week feeling refreshed with a brand new attitude. All I ask is that you keep it clean no profanity will be tolerated. I will delete your link if you cannot comply with that one simple rule. Rules are made to be followed not broken.

     Have a Happy Week


Friday, May 18, 2012

Go Science DVDs TOS Crew Review

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    The TOS Crew was given the opportunity to choose 2 DVDs of their choice from the GO Science Series from Library and Educational Services. The boys were so excited to be able to pick the ones that they wanted. I let them each pick one, they waited patiently for them to come. I was excited because all of the Go Science DVD lessons are taught using Creation Based learning, by Mr. Ben Roy.

Every time we learn something about science, we learn something about our Creator God!

Science DVD Series featuring Ben Roy
67 Science Demonstrations on 6 DVDs!
Even kids who claim an aversion to science will be engaged by the high-energy science demonstrations of Ben Roy! Ben teaches science methods at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is the former director of a science program on television. With this expertise, Ben captivates, motivates, and inspires students to be excited about science, while providing effective instruction based on science phenomena. Each of the 67 spectacular demonstrations of physical or chemical science has a spiritual application and points to our Creator!

    The boys and I chose Volumes 3 and 4.  Volume 3 deals with topics such as Magnetism, Engineering, Electricity and Design and Volume 4 touches on topics like Chemistry, States of Matter and Life Sciences. Each DVD has simple experiments to accomplish and touches on the topics listed for each DVD in a fun approach by Mr. Ben Roy and are taught from a creationism viewpoint. We use a creation based Science curriculum already so I was so pleased to be able to review these and add them into our standing curriculum and felt comfortable knowing we shared the same view point when it comes to Science.
    Each DVD runs in length from 29-59 minutes, and is set up to run in sub segments that last 3-6 minutes in length and touch on one of the categories and performs an experiment. I loved that at the end of each experiment, Mr. Roy says, “Every time we learn something about SCIENCE, we learn something about our CREATOR GOD!”  These demonstrations are taught in a caring, fun way by Mr. Roy who is a past Elementary and Middle School teach as well as a school Principal. He has won many Teach of The Year and currently holds teaching certificates in 2 states. 
He is a past director of a TV news channel Science Theater, and continues to travel extensively with his live science shows.  These DVDs are geared to children ages 6-14 and my Middle Schoolers found them entertaining and full of hands on learning experiences as did my friend with Elementary aged children 1st grade -4th. This is a great complementary program if you are teaching a range of children in ages or just a couple.
   We enjoyed learning each day along with Mr. Roy and doing our experiments right along with him as he taught us about Demonstrations include:
Volume 3 recommended viewing  Ages 5-11
  • Monster Magnets
  • A/C Electromagnet
  • D/C Ellecromagnet
  • Making a Compass
  • Static Electricity
  • Light Bulb
  • Jacob's Ladder
  • Conductivity
  • Solar Energy
  • Tesla Coil
  • Color
  • Cut Paper Halves
  • Heat Engine
  • Plastic Pre Forms
Volume 4 recommend viewing ages 5-11
  • Chemical Luminescence
  • Exploding Bottle
  • Exploding Balloons
  • Flash Paper
  • pH
  • Root Beer Float
  • Liquid Nitrogen
  • Single Cell
  • Optical Illusion
  • Lycopodium Powder
  • Camouflage 
Here is a sample lesson from Volume 3 about Jacob's Ladder.

   Although the two DVDs we picked have a younger viewing age recommended than my children's ages we still enjoyed them and these particular topics fit into what we are learning this year, so this was more appropriate than some of the others for us personally.
 Whether your kids love Science or Loathe it Go Science DVDs are sure to spark the Scientist in everyone. Mr. Roy is so engaging it is almost impossible to not get excited for Science.

Regularly listed for $14.95 each – or $79.95 for the set of 6 – Library & Educational Services makes the Go Science DVD’s available for just $8.97 each, or $47.95 for the entire set. LES is a wholesale company, serving “resellers, educators, librarians, home educators, as well as church leaders such as pastors or directors of children’s ministries.” 

   Be sure to check out the rest of the TOS Crew members reviews and see which DVDS they picked to work on in their homeschool.  

As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my
honest review. All opinions are mine.

5 Days Of...Blog Hop! Day 5 :(

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   Has it really been 5 days already? This week has sure flown by. The old saying does go " Time flies when you are having fun."  I guess it is true. We have been camping since Tuesday and ths week seems to be flying by, which means this trip will be over be for we know it and it is the last campout of our Summer Vacation. The next time we will be back school will have officially started. Then that means only 2 more campouts and it will be time to Winterize our trailer and put it away for the Winter.

   This Blog Hop has been so much fun, I love being part of the TOS Crew it has blessed me in so many ways and this is just one more to add to my list. My family and I have enjoyed reading all of your comments this week. It is such a pleasure to hear about other's camping experiences and to know we have inspired some of you to take your family on a camping trip this Summer. I accomplished the goal I set for myself. Please be sure to join my blog through GFC or to subscribe via email, so you can continue to hear about all the exciting adventures the Summer takes us on.

      We had a very laid back day yesterday, and while we were sitting by the lake the geese came for a snack and we got to see how big their babies had gotten up close and personal.  We never get tired of seeing these little guys and have been enjoying studying the behavior of the geese both parents and children. It is not much different than a typical parent. There are two families of geese one has 6 babies and one has 7. We watched them nest on the eggs about a month ago and waited patiently for them to hatch while we were here but that did not happen. Upon our next visit just a week later we searched and searched for the babies but did not find them, we were worried as we thought maybe the eggs did not hatch due to our unseasonably cold weather we had been having. A few days after returning to camp we spotted them and then much to our surprise found not one but two sets of goslings. So we have been keeping close tabs on them, charting different things we learn about them like certain times of days where the babies are no where to be found.

   Do the parents put them down for a nap? The live on our small lake so usually they are easy to spot. All lined up in a row between there Mom and Dad so obediently. Well except for one! We have nicknamed him  sneaky. He likes to go off on his own and he gets yelled at by his Daddy! Or does he, we were watching both sets on the opposite side of the lake the other night and sneaky darted off into the water while everyone  else was sunbathing on the shore. Well in swoops what we thought was his Daddy honking and squawking at him trying to get him to come back. Boy was he in trouble. Well in the mean time the rest of the geese had returned to the water. As the "Dad" was honking at the baby he finally reversed his direction, but wait he is not getting in line? Well you know why? It was not that "Dad's baby but the baby of the other family. Now this got us thinking are the parents related somehow maybe siblings of some sort or do they all just naturally watch over each other's children like we as human's do with our good friends. I know I have a friend with 7 kids and when we are out with them I find myself watching and counting heads just as my friends do. I just naturally help look out for my friend's kids. I am sure we are all like this in some way. My other side of brain flips switches and reprimands the lax geese  parents for not being more observant of their own children, I know I have HAD friends who do not watch their own children but expect everyone else to do it for them. Do you know parents like that??
   It just struck us as odd how similar the behavior of these beautiful God's creatures are to us as humans. God is so wonderful and he has made such different creatures yet so similar in behavior. We are now studying other animals to see if we notice similar patterns in them as well. We are looking forward to learning more about "our" geese and other animals and studying the behavior patterns between them.

    I enjoy just sitting by the lake around my campfire pit and blogging away, It is so relaxing and peaceful, it makes me dream of when we will move out of the city and retire out in the country after Nick is out of school, he only has this school year left, he is Officially a Senior. The more we are out here the more we are thinking of moving out this way rather than where we originally planned. Time will tell it is all in God's Plan...

On another note we did make that sausage and potato and pepper foil dinner that I shared with you yesterday and it was tastier than I could have ever envisioned. We will definitely be trying it again. 
I am sorry to see this week end I have truly enjoyed sharing with you, This past week has inspired me to join in the future TOS Crew Blog Cruises so be sure to stop back and see what exciting topics will be shared.
God Bless and Happy Camping.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

5 Days Of... Blog Hop! Day 4

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          I am back with you today with day 4 of the 5 Days Of... Blog Hop! from The TOS Crew! We are continuing on with our talk about campschooling. We are going to switch gears today and talk about kids and cooking at camp.
      My boys love to cook and cooking at camp is no exception. We like grilling, we like cooking in our camper and we love to cook over the campfire, using our pie irons. Have you ever had a hobo pie? You have not lived until you have.
      We have been searching Pinterest and beyond for some exciting camp worthy recipes. One of them we made a few weeks ago were Banana Boats, we expanded on the recipe in after we got done grilling the boats we dumped the contents out onto a dish of icecream and then topped it with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. YUMMY GOODNESS!
Last night we had Chicken Parm Burger Sliders on the Grill thanks to my son Alyx the Grill Master, you can find the recipe here, it was featured on The Chew for a Mother's Day special. They were so yummy we will definitely be making them again. The original recipe was not meant to be a slider sized burger that is where we made our own twist on it, Bite sized fun and tasty.
photo source: The Chew
The recipe we are trying tomorrow night is a sausage foil dinner from Pinterest. I am looking forward to this recipe, foil dinners are the best kind of dinners in my mind.
I will be sure to let you know how they turn out.

photo source: Pinterest

When we cook over the campfire we use our pie iron and make all kinds of delicious treats both savory and sweet. The boys love bacon, egg and swiss. I like traditional grilled cheese. We have also made pizza pockets and then our favorites dessert pies, so much better than hostess pies. We use all types of pie fillings for those and they are so yummy and on a cool evening they warm you right down to your toes. There are some great hobo pie recipes on this site. Our goal is to try them all at least once by the end of Summer.
What are your favorite camp recipes? Please share with us and we will let you know if we try them out.


Thanks for joining us and be sure to check out all of the other Crew members blogs on the cruise and stop back tomorrow for the last day of our journey, this has been so much fun sharing with all of you this week.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Judah Bible Curriculum

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                                 Do you want your children to possess Godly character? I know I do! Some of us on the TOS Crew were given the opportunity to review the download version of Judah Bible Curriculum for our homeschool families.
    Judah Bible Curriculum is for grades K-12. Here is some info from the company themselves and then I will tell you about our experience with their curriculum.

What is the Judah Bible Curriculum? PDF Print E-mail
  • A Principle Approach curriculum for Bible class.
  • Develop a comprehensive knowledge of the Bible.
  • Build strong, Godly character in your children.
  • Study the Bible together.
  • Study the hand of God in the lives of individuals and nations.
  • For homeschool, Christian school, Sunday school.
  • Teach your children living Biblical principles to guide their lives.
  • Apply God’s word personally in every area of life.
  • The Bible is the textbook.
  • Begin today: Order
The purpose of the Judah Bible Curriculum is to make Bible Literacy the hallmark of the new generation of Christians. The Judah Bible Curriculum is designed to help you teach your student how to study and research the Bible, extract true understanding from it, and apply Biblical principles to his or her own life and character.
    Judah Bible Curriculum uses the Bible as the textbook for their teachings . Although their program requires parent study ahead of time before teaching the materials to the children, it is a very thorough and comprehensive curriculum. We had troubles in the beginning because I did not realize I had to go over the program ahead of time to be prepared to teach it. I am used to programs that I learn right along with my children so this did take time for me to get used to. However once we got started we did enjoy learning about the Bible with Judah Bible Curriculum. I strongly want my children to possess Godly Character as a second nature to their being. I want people to say WOW! when they are around my children. I believe that with working with this program I can accomplish this goal, it will just take some time. This is not a curriculum that you can rush through but if followed correctly Great things will happen in your family. I look forward to continuing this journey with my children through the Summer and next Fall.
    You can buy Judah Bible Curriculum in your choice of 2 different formats....


Order Securely Online
Click Here To Purchase Judah Bible Curriculum delivered online:
Total $44.00.
You get:
1) Judah Bible Curriculum K-12 Manual, e-book format to download;
2) Elementary Notebook Ideas booklet to view online or download;
3) Eight-lecture Teacher Training Seminar. listen online or download.
(40% discount for online delivery!)


Click Here To Purchase Judah Bible Curriculum Pack Hard Copy:
$69.00, plus 5.00 p&h,
Total $74.00.
Allow 7 days for delivery.
You get:
1) Judah Bible Curriculum K-12 Manual;
2) Elementary Notebook Ideas booklet;
3) Eight-lecture Teacher Training Seminar on CDs.

    If you want your children to possess Godly Character just like I do then you should check out Judah Bible Curriculum and also be sure to stop by the rest of the  TOS Crew's Blogs to see what they had to say about Judah Bible Curriculum.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

5 Days Of.... Blog Hop!! Day 3

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Hello Again,
I am back with day 3 of campschooling as we continue to sail along on the TOS Crew 5 Days Of.... blog Hop!  Today we are going to talk about the aspect of camping and how it helps children with special needs. 
My 2 youngest sons have Asperger's Syndrome and OCD and the youngest suffers from anxiety issues as well. Since we started camping 4 years ago on a regular basis the boys began to overcome some of their deficiencies. When we began homeschooling they really started to blossom and when you add the two together, camping and homeschooling they are completely different boys. Up at camp they are so much more calmer, they get along so much better, I think this is in part to no outside influences of the couple friends they do have and no video games and also they do not have the ability to just go to their room and hide from the world. Camping in a 33 ft camper with several people forces them to interact with others and compromise on activities that everyone has to do.  
The other important aspect has been that they have begun to feel more comfortable seeking out others for help or just to chat. This has been so refreshing especially with my youngest, Taylor. He is more of a shy quiet type and wants everyone to think, talk and do for him because it is so much easier. Since homeschooling he has gotten a little bit better but after camping this year started he has blossomed so much more than I could have imagined. Recently we went to a restaurant near camp and there was a clown making balloons characters, he wanted one and went to go in the other room all by himself. This in itself was huge but it is what happened next that truly amazed me. He sat at the table after his creation was made and kept saying how he would like to learn how to do that, the next thing you know he is not at the table and we thought he had gone to use the restroom. All of the sudden we heard him from the next room, he had gone to the clown and asked her to show him step by step how to make a balloon creation. This picture shows him deeply focused learning to make a sword. 

That was all it took, he was hooked. The next day we looked high and low and landed at hobby lobby for twister ballooons and a pump. He spent the whole day learning how to make several animals courtesy of youtube. Later that night was karaoke at The Dome. He made himself a Tip jar and set up a table to make animals for all the kids. To see him beam with pride as the children were amazed at his abilities was something I cannot describe into words. It simply melted my heart. He only made a quarter but he was so proud of himself.  Later that evening the park manager came up to him to tell him what a good job he was doing and she said she had a book on ballooon characters in her car, we asked if we could borrow it to make copies and she told him he could keep it. He smiled ear to ear. 
A year ago he would not have even tried to accomplish such a thing as he would have been afraid of the balloons popping and he most certainly would not have put on a "show" for a crowd. He is now excited to sit by me at the craft show to sell his creations. 
Alyx is looking forward to a friend from our co-op coming up to camp next week, this in itself is huge as he has never really had friends let alone look forward to spending time with them and its a girl. He is turning 14 this year and has finally started to notice that girls exist it is rather funny. He has also shown interest in volunteering at camp with the activities department and maybe next year maybe getting hired part time for the summer while we are at camp. He shows initiative to help out fellow campers in need of help. Like carrying their groceries from their car to their campers, helping to do things that are hard for older campers like the cranks for the jacks and all the lines that need to be connected to set up.
It makes me so proud and thankful to see my kids enjoying the time we have up here and making good use of their time. 
I think it has something to do with the water flowing down the lake or the mere serenity of the atmosphere up here that makes them calm and able to accomplish so much while we are up here. I know I feel it as well. Without the added stress of "life" at home I feel better physically and mentally. I hope by the end of the Summer I will have more praise reports to write about. I am hopeful that the boys continue to blossom.