Bring Back the Boys

I haven’t used this blog as a platform for my thoughts in a long time.  It has primarily been a glorified baby book for my boys.

But this TED talk really had me thinking this morning–even with the lack of sleep as of late.

Watch this video, especially if you have young, school aged boys in your life.  It’s only 12 minutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23Uuehgmd14

Here are my thoughts:

 My comic book loving, wrestling enthusiast, nerf gun using boys are wild in a good way–the boy way.  They are 100% boy.  They love to write said topics in comic book fashion.  The books they have written are strewn from room to room here at our house.  One of my sons even spent his own money to copy a comic he wrote at Kinkos so he could sell them–$2.00 for a copy, $2.50 for it autographed.  They want to write all about boy things.  Constantly.  The zero tolerance from schools has not really squelched their desire to write about these topics, as we have been blessed with wonderful teachers who have understood their penchant for action filled writing as just that…writing.  Nothing else.

  The woman giving the TED talk is promoting better gaming ideas to help with keeping our boys involved and excited about learning.  She brings up so many wonderful points about how we as educators are losing boys.

–There aren’t enough male teachers for our boys to look up to as a role model.

–The number of children with special needs is larger with boys than with girls.  (I have a child with ADHD and sensory issues…I live that life, too.  I’m one who sees things through the eyes of an educator AND a mom of special needs.)

  –There is not enough movement in our classrooms. (Teachers ask students to sit and sit and write and write.  I know I often feel like I can’t get everything I need to teach into my day and it stresses me out.  But boys need to move.  If that is incorporated into the day, things get a little bit better because my students are ready to learn.)

– And then she adds the part about better games that teach and entertain.

I do not think gaming is the complete answer.  I think children get enough of that time at home, often without limitations or time constraints.  But it’s hard to get the attention of my students in a world that readily hands them information and entertainment via TV, computer, or device.  There are days when it doesn’t matter how many cartwheels I do in the front of the classroom, they still.don’t.understand the topic or skill.  Teaching has changed so much in the 15 years I have been in the profession.

My point is this:  There are other ways to engage our boys and girls in the classroom.  Having students move, jump, and act out gets children involved in the lesson.  Using music, small groups, and drama incorporated into lessons are also powerful ways of actively engaging students.

I did love this TED talk.  I completely agree that we are losing the boys of our classrooms.

 I just want my fellow teachers to understand that gaming isn’t the one and only answer.

Catch Up Post

It’s been about a year since I last wrote.

Oops.

Well, here is some news….

We had a baby.

Another boy baby.

That makes four boys.

I’m tired just typing those last few sentences.

:)

Our sweet little bundle joined our family on July 28, 2014.

He weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.

He is the smallest baby I have had.

Even the doctor commented on how “small” he was compared to his brothers, when he uttered something about how I usually birth 25 pounders.

This guy came out fighting!  He swung his arms and hands around crazily, grabbing for the clamps the doctor was holding.  Doc had a good chuckle as he tried to cut the cord because our little boy wouldn’t let him do it!

The naming of this child has been discussed with passion since the day we found out we were having a boy.  You know we’ve had a girl name picked out for 10  years now.  Oh well.  And we’ve used 6 perfectly good boy names already, so we had to do some thinking on this one.

About a year and a half prior to being pregnant, Frack casually mentioned from the back seat of the car that I needed to have another baby and it needed to be a boy.  And then we would call him “Jose”, after one of his friends, “cute little Jose”, in his class.

Fast forward to the gender reveal day (no, we did not have the trendy party.  We sat in our ultrasound technicians office (Hi Jennifer!) and cried happy tears that it was in fact another healthy boy and not a girl that would require mom and dad to have an intervention on how to raise girls).

I digress…

So it’s a boy.  And as soon as we told his older brothers, Frack fist pumped the air and said, “Wahoo!  It’s Jose!!!!”

The nickname Jose has stuck.

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Photo by Jennifer Murphy Photography

We are adjusting nicely to the new normal.  The big boys are so sweet and doting to their little brother.

I am enjoying maternity leave with little sleep, but hey.  I was smiled at today…a real, honest to goodness, not a smile while you sleep, not a gas related smile. A REAL smile.

It made my day.

Our Favorite Time of Year!

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Go Tigers!!

We spent the day with Auntie B and Uncle S watching Clemson in the garage.

We kept playing and hanging out into the evening while watching UGA play Carolina

and the pick up game of football the 15+ kids were playing in the back yard.

So.Much.Fun.

Photo Dump/Catch Up Post

All I can say is…life got in the way.  And in a good way!

To catch you up with the shenanigans of Frick, Frack, and Frog, I have compiled our favorite pictures from the last six months.

Or possibly more.

So…Let’s start with Frog’s first trip to the dentist!

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He did great and allowed the dental hygienist to do her thing to an extent.

At one point, she asked him if he would open his mouth so she could count his teeth and he promptly said, “No.”

After some convincing, he did it and all was well.

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Then, it was a trip to Legoland in Atlanta for Frack’s 7th birthday.

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The boys received new mattresses and had an impromptu jumping session on the old ones:

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A perfect sendoff for old mattresses.

And tons of boy fun.

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Slides are fun, but crazy hair is even better.

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Baseball season found us camping out at the ballpark 4 nights out of the week and often on Saturdays for practice.

Frick and Frack had great seasons and love the game.

Both received game balls twice.

Frick’s team won the tournament at the end of the season…a come from behind win.  He had an awesome tournament streak  after a midseason slump.  Frick ended up getting the game ball at the Championship game.

I cried.  Lots.

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Frog has a habit of falling asleep at random times.  I love sleeping kid pics, so I had to include this:

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He’s my sleeper…he still naps two hours each day, goes to bed around 7:30 and sleeps until 8 in the morning.

Plus these random naps, this guy has it made in the shade.

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GO TIGERS!

That’s what I told Frick to tell Cocky when we saw him at a Touch a Truck event in Columbia.

I’m guessing Cocky wasn’t a fan of that.

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Frick made his First Holy Eucharist this May:

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He was so excited to make this sacrament and we were so proud.

Frack did all he could to hold in his energy over three hours.  At the time of this picture being taken, he had enough. :)

We were to have a big party at our house afterwards, but as luck would have it, Frog ran a 103 degree fever for two days.

Sigh.

Party moved to another location.

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June was busy with swim team meets and practices.

July brought our annual beach trip to Hilton Head Island.

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Nini and Frog had a blast swinging together.

One minute, Frog is happy and having a blast.

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The next minute, he’s Mr. Pouty.

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Frog is quite the moody one.

He takes after me.

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The boys LOVED the ocean, boogie boarding, and jumping waves.

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That brings us up to present day…

We’re trying to enjoy the rest of our summer before school starts up again.

Ash Wednesday + Kids + Mass = Always Interesting

This evening, we attended our parish’s Ash Wednesday Mass.

BP was to go with us, but unfortunately, he was in bed and sick, sick, sick.

The Mommy Show was on.

Frack led us straight to the very front row, which actually helps the boys pay a bit more attention.

As I genuflected and crossed myself, I said a desperate silent prayer that  these lively, precious boys would behave, pray and be non-squirmy in that very front row, with the congregation behind us.

Each boy knelt with their hands folded and angelic faces looking to the crucifix.

Frog was most precious in this pose.

After his prayer, he did his version of the sign of the cross.

So cute.

During communion, Frog was transfixed.

In the front row at our church, you must sit in your seat and not kneel after receiving The Eucharist, as people are receiving the sacrament right in front of you.

So there sat Frog watching all the people walk by and take communion.

And then he pipes up,

“Hey!  Hey guy!” (he was referring to the Eucharistic Minister) “I want some!”

I gently whisper to him that he must make the sacrament and will when he is 8.

Silence.

Moments pass.

“Ok.  I 8 now.  Gimme some.”

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The boys were perfect.  And pious.  And especially precious.

What a sight it is to see your child looking to God in the most reverent way with his hands folded.

I may have teared up a little.

Sigh.

Sweet Boy

Unseasonably warm weather calls for outside play.

This little one enjoyed the swings the most:

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A full day of swinging leads to an impromptu nap on the couch just before dinner:

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Gotta love the sunshine. :)

A Frog Update

While reading those precious blog books,

I realized my life has become so very busy and I am not as good at writing down the things the boys are doing.

 I love reading back over our lives, remembering each post as if I wrote it yesterday.

I have not written solely on Frog in some time other than his third birthday.

He’s growing up fast, building his vocabulary and has matured so much.

It’s due time to catch you up on our “little” Frog.

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He is a funny, loving guy .

Some Frog-isms include:

*(while putting his hands on your face) “Ahhh…I wuv you too!” –and that is said even without my saying “I love you” to him.

**”Wet’s hug kiss Mom!” or “I need hug kiss!!”

**”Mom, I need sicky cup from frig-ig-ger”

**”I need hug kiss my boys!” (He is referring to his brothers, and sometimes he says “my guys”.  That collective term often includes me as well.)

**”Mom.  You da pwincess.  I da good guy.  I save you.”

**”C’I have a awful?”  (Can I have a waffle?)

**”I go to school to see my fwends?”

**When Frog wakes at any point either in the morning or after nap, he calls out, “He-wo!  I here!!!  Come get me!!”  He’s in a toddler bed where he can get out by himself yet he still calls out to us.

**He sings all.the.time.  He also loves to dance.  Anytime a song comes on that he recognizes, he proclaims, “My SONG!!  It’s my SONG!!”  Then he dances and sings along.  I keep trying to catch him on video, but I am usually driving when it occurs.  Filming that guy while driving is not such a grand idea.

**He loves cars, Legos and Star Wars.  He skipped over toddler toys–he had no interest in Thomas the Train (which was big for his brothers) and went straight into “his boys” or “his guys” interests.  It was bitter sweet to skip that stage of toddlerhood, but I suppose that’s all part of the game when you have older ones at home.

He’s pretty much into anything Frick and Frack have in their hands.

With a dash of potty humor and a smidgen of wrestling.

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