First Son turned thirteen last December so I'm only three months late getting this post written.
All First Son wanted for his birthday was an afternoon of video games with his friends, so he invited a handful of boys and developed a method for scheduling the limited Wii remotes. We served pizza, chicken nuggets, french fries, chocolate chip cookie bars, and various candies. Amazingly we still had some food left; I don't think the rest of the boys eat quite as much as First Son.
His most amusing birthday gift was from a friend who found a ceramic sweet potato candy dish at a thrift store. (First Son and his friend have a weird "potato" thing.) He filled it with candy, wrapped it in aluminum foil and told him it was a baked potato. Without unwrapping the foil, First Son cheered and started to put it in the kitchen for later. His friend had to laughingly tell him he should actually open it.
First Son must love this t-shirt. He wore it for his birthday party (also his actual birthday) and his baptismal anniversary.
For his baptismal anniversary, First Son really wanted a dinner of the 8 Polish Foods of Christmas. Kansas Dad took on the challenge and received a round of applause from all the children for his efforts!
First Son likes to eat everything. One day a week, our parish hosts dinner for the middle school and high school kids. We feed him before he goes, he eats his meal, and then he usually finishes someone else's meal or has seconds (or both!). He especially likes potatoes (of course), ham and potato chowder, pierogi, and chicken enchiladas. He likes raw celery, too. We have friends who bring celery just for him and their younger daughter laughs and jumps up and down because she's so excited to share it with him.
We have a lot of pictures of First Son making funny faces.
His favorite movies - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (the only two Harry Potter movies he's seen), The Return of the Jedi (the original VHS version), The Force Awakens, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (the only Narnia movie we've seen).
His favorite books - Far Side comics, the Chronicles of Prydain, the Harry Potter books, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
favorite games - Munchkin (some language may be offensive), Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, chess, Star Wars Trivial Pursuit, King of Tokyo (the new version seems to be just as good and less expensive)
He also received a Kindle Fire for Christmas that he loves.
Recently, First Son began collecting Pokemon cards and building his own decks to play with friends. Kansas Dad was hoping to avoid the Pokemon craze, but it is fun to watch him and his friends poring over cards and battling each other with their decks. It seems like one of the less dangerous ways teenagers could spend their time.
He doesn't really like lessons in general, but he often enjoyed his science experiment days. This picture is from one of his favorites. He set alcohol on fire.
favorite lessons - math, independent reading, logic (Mind Benders puzzle books)
I let the kids try out for the homeschool play this year and First Son earned the role of the Mayor in The Pied Piper, the role with the most lines. He's done very well memorizing the lines and making them funny when they are supposed to be funny. He's still working on his stage presence, but we have a little more time before the play.
He's still taking taekwondo classes. He's a blue belt red strip. (He probably could have tested for his red belt before now but we've been busy the past few belt testing weekends.) He went to his first tournament last fall and earned two first place trophies - one for his form and one in sparring.
Every Sunday, First Son volunteers in the parish nursery so parents of little ones can attend our adult education class (taught by Kansas Dad and a few other men of the parish). He loves his time in the nursery and delights the children with his silly antics.
Sometime between Thanksgiving and New Year's, First Son grew taller than me.
Sometime between New Year's and the first week of February (when we were in Illinois for my grandmother's 90th birthday party), he grew taller than Kansas Dad.
We recently bought him new shoes. Size 11.
First Son isn't afraid to follow Kansas Dad on any trail. He doesn't complain, doesn't waver, just puts one foot in front of the other all the way to the top.
First Son is growing into a fine young man. We know he's a teenager, but we're glad he still likes to be with us.