Sadly, I am more than a month late on First Son's birthday post. He turned 8 years old back in December.
We took a nature walk in December to check on our little creek (for our Rivers and Oceans study this year). He does not enjoy our nature walks, but he did like making snowballs while he waited for me to get everyone else out of the van and ready for our walk. First Son is a lot like me; while the idea of a nature walk is appealing, he'd much rather be inside reading about a nature walk.
Here's a picture from his birthday party. I made a blue Lego cake. A very blue Lego cake. The cake was not a masterpiece but First Son liked it well enough, which is really all that matters. We played lots of Lego games, including one First Son planned and prepared. He drew a dragon from the Ninjago Legos on a piece of paper and lots of little heads for the birthday party guests to pin onto the paper. It turned out surprisingly well for a last minute addition to our games. Grammy and I went through a whole box of Kansas Dad's old Legos and made bags for each of the guests to use in building a thingamabob. I set a timer as if it were a race, but the girls insisted they weren't done. We didn't have a competition; I just took a picture of each of them with their creation. For my favorite game, I took apart as many minifigures as I could find. The kids built their own minifigure from the options available and then tossed them into a bucket (the safe boat) surrounded by a shark and a crocodile. Second Daughter surprised us all by slamming her first minifigure right into the boat!
Of course, we had the traditional and required pancake-bigger-than-your-head for breakfast, prepared by the fabulous pancake chef, Kansas Dad. (He really does make tremendous buttermilk pancakes.) Also, as usual, the birthday boy could not finish the whole pancake in one setting. Part of the fun is pulling it out for ensuing meals.
On First Son's birthday, he and his PSR class made their First Confessions. Here is a picture of First Son right after his confession and absolution. That's as clean as his soul has been since baptism.
We are loving second grade. First Son's work ethic is far better than it was last year. Not that he doesn't fight any battles, but he is actively struggling with his desires and tries very hard (most of the time) not to be too grumpy. At least after a reminder.
I was worried at first when I saw our subject list for second grade, some of which require quite a bit of writing (physically putting pencil to paper). He has risen wonderfully to the tasks, though. His handwriting has improved tremendously and he will often write without complaint for multiple subjects. His handwriting is legible, too. Just after the New Year, he started learning cursive and is doing well.
He often makes smart remarks on his math papers or writes silly things for the answers. I'm not sure why he keeps that up since I always make him erase them and do the page over again, but I do think it's funny, too. His math story problems are nearly always about Angry Birds now. Recently he wrote, "Ten pigs stole the birds eggs. The red bird knocked over five pigs. How many pigs are left?" (Those possessive apostrophes are tricky.)
He is getting much better at narration, too. A few days ago he told the whole story of Io to Kansas Dad after dinner. (Well, not the whole story; the version I read aloud to him was adapted for children.)
He's a wonderful reader, when we can get him to read aloud. Recently, we've been enjoying a few of the books from the Encounter the Saints series. They are just challenging enough (especially with all the names and places) for his reading practice.
His current favorite saint is St. Martin de Porres.
Here is my favorite picture from his baptism anniversary.
First Son, may the coming year be one of blessings and growth, love and joy!