I’m super glad I caught up on some much needed sleep. Brooks has the energy of a few kids. It’s incredible. I love it when we’ve had a busy day or we’ve been playing hard all day and someone says, “Gee, he’ll sleep well tonight.” Well, that may be so, but he won’t fall asleep on me. He’ll lay there and sing to himself or concoct crazy stories.

In fact, when he was itty bitty, maybe three? he woke up one morning and told me that when he slept he “had stories in his eyes.” I loved that way of describing dreams, but it makes me wonder how well he imagines all the things he sketches and talks endlessly about.

So this morning, after a quick breakfast on the patio, and some serious outdoor play, we came in for some more fun and play.

We began by wrapping our feet in wax paper with the aide of rubber bands or hair ties, and skating on the carpet in the living room. We put some music on after a while and the kiddos danced around to their hearts content. I was unsure of how slick wax paper on carpet would be, but was excited to see the kids sliding around, flopping onto carpet, and skidding widely this way and that, all the while screeching in glee. I snagged the idea from a blog.

Afterwards we had an indoor snowball fight with the remnants of the wax paper. That was fun and turned into a dodgeball type of game. My arm was ready to quit long before the kiddos were even panting, but thankfully I was able to keep up. To have the energy of an eight year old!

After a bit of down time we pulled out the paints and our Eric Carle projects. We’ve been working on his painted tissue paper for a few days now. Since we are focusing on the process I didn’t want to rush the kiddos through each step and wanted to ensure the paint dried sufficiently before moving on to the next step.

Today the kiddos added more paint, in contrasting colors, with swirls, lines, dots, etc. We weren’t able to finish printing on them, so we’ll probably tackle that tomorrow.

We also created a simple paper flag. Again, I got that idea from a blog, one of my favs, The Chocolate Muffin Tree : http://networkedblogs.com/jHEB3  Check out the blog for a ton more wonderful ideas to engage your kiddos in learning, play, art, and fun.

Since the Fourth of July is around the corner we’re reviewing the history of the holiday and working on crafts, decorations, and games.

The kiddos were psyched about their flags. I need to find my star stickers for them to finish embellishing their flags.

After art, we played board games and had some down time. Brooksy had baseball and basketball in the afternoon.

I have to say, I’m extremely thankful for the coaches he has this season. We have three Dad’s co-coaching his baseball team and they are phenomenal. They are tough on the kiddos, which I love, but are also quick to encourage and are always pushing the kiddos to not limit themselves. They are continually providing feedback and have a hands on approach with the kids. I absolutely love it.

Brooks had a great practice. He was on point all afternoon. He hustled, kept his attention focused on the practice, communicated with the other players (the other kiddos are doing that yet on his team, so they tend to stand there and no one goes for the ball, so B has been super talkative out there – imagine that!), and had awesome throws and catches all night. I was super proud of him, because I could tell he was pushing himself.

What really got to me was that I usually have a pep talk with him in the car on the way to practice. I point out things he should look out for, things to improve on, things I’ve seen he’s done incorrectly, things he’s doing amazingly well, etc. But today we got to talking about other things and I completely forgot. So I was impressed that he did so well without all my added input. Perhaps I should keep my mouth shut more often, eh?!

I love the lessons he’s reaping from participating in sports. And I love his thankful attitude. I love that he enjoys all the things we do fully, and that he’s quick to thank his coaches for their time and me for signing him up and supporting him. Watching him out there, encouraging his teammates, pushing himself to reach personally set goals, listening and accepting instructions from others, and working with his teammates makes my heart swell with pride. He’s growing up right before my eyes and sometimes that makes me sad. Because one day I’ll open my eyes and he’ll be ready to move out and live on his own. And the thing is, these deployments have taught me a lot of things, one of which is dealing with separation, but gee, when I think of B leaving the “nest,” per se, it’s like a never ending deployment with a few r&r’s thrown in. Which of course is natural, but we’re talking about me here. I had nightmares about sending him off on the school bus for the first day of school, when I was still pregnant. True story.

What I do know with certainty is that if D.Brooks would have been watching practice today he would have been blown away by how much self motivation That Child had today.

After a quick dinner we headed to Bball practice. Brooks loves basketball as much as he loves baseball. When he’s on the court he cannot keep his feet still. I’ve been calling him Happy Feet in my head because that’s what he reminds me of, his feet a blur. Brooksy didn’t disappoint at practice either. He was fast, focused, and extremely excited.

I love the coaches he’s got for Basketball. They split the boys into two groups, rotating them out, working on different skills and are very hands on and quick to point out things the kids are doing well. They joke with the kids but are serious about the game, and are not afraid to teasingly point out something wrong a kid did. Usually it’s just a look, or a mocking, “Really?!”” which sets the offending child into peals of laughter. They push the kids to do well and are quick to praise them and give out high fives easily. They placed B as point guard at one point for a while and B was loving bringing in the ball and handling it. Even though our hoop is super duper low, because CYS played that way, B has been making his most of his shots.

I did attempt to raise our hoop but my measly arms were no match; I’m thinking that will be the only thing on my never before written honey do list. Just saying, Brooks Julius 😉

What a fun day we had. I enjoyed every second and can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!