Thursday, July 16, 2009

Settling down

LOOK, Aunt Caitlyn can walk on water!

I havent updated in a few weeks. The "busy" part of the summer has finally passed, and things are ready to settle down. The past 3 weeks have been pretty intense, starting with my brother-in-law's wedding! George and Jaspa were married on June 29! Elizabeth, Chris, Reagan, and I attended the rehearsal dinner at Jaspa's parents home in New Braunfels. It was a lot of fun, the food was excellent, and it is obvious to see how Jaspa turned out so awesome! She will be a great addition to the mix of the Hickman/Wingfield family.

Chris and I actually had to miss the wedding to attend Scout Camp. Camp Karankawa is located at Lake Mathis. It would be an awesome winter camp location, but during the summer it is some kind of HOT! Over 100 every day. Needless to say it was the longest 6 day/5 night camp I have ever been to. Aside from the overwhelming heat it was a great camp. Chris worked on wilderness survival, rowing, and another merit badge that I can't remember. He also participated in COPE. Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience, included climbing and repelling a 45 foot wall. A leap of faith, that entails climbing a 30 foot pole and jumping off (while harnessed of course) and other adventure such as these. I am so proud of him, he did very well and did not allow his so called disability to stop him at all. I believe he gained a lot of self confidence from this super experience.

A week after Scout camp I was blessed to attend Youth Conference with Chris. It was very cool. Activities included workshops on choosing a career, preparing for a mission, managing your time, and developing traits of an eternal companion. There was also skits, a beach side dance on the island, and a sunrise devotional over looking the Corpus Christi Bay! All of this was concluded with a very spiritual testimony meeting.

As soon as conference was over we took off for San Antonio to visit with my family. We had some good barbeque courtesy of my brother Kadett. It was fun to visit and play games. The kids put on a program of several skits for us! And we got the chance to visit and get to know my sisters new husband Thomas. He seems like a great guy! I am very glad that my baby sister has found a good guy to settle down with, I think Thomas is going to be a great addition to our clan. Monday Liz, my sister Caitlyn, her new Husband Thomas, my dad and I took off for a few hours and headed to Lockhart for some lunch at Smitty's (the best barbeque in the state), followed by a shopping to trip to Cabelas in Buda. Tuesday Liz, dad and myself took in a session at the temple. It was really nice to spend some time with them both, espescially Liz. It seems she is either working or midwifing so it was nice to spend a couple of solid days with her. Wednesday the clan all headed down here we took in a movie at the dollar cinema (12 people for less then $10!) and had a fun evening at the beach in Rockport! Thomas was pooped on by a seagull, and my nephew Lucion was stung in 4 places by a jelly fish, so I am sure they will be ready to come back

So as you can see life has been busy around these parts, but as everyone drove away last night, so did the busy portion of my summer. 5 more weeks till school ! It should be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Beach Week 4

Back to our regular routine today, and headed out once again to the Rockport City Beach! We had another good day. The Sun was out and the water felt really good. Chris stayed home to head out with a buddy to go see the new Transformers 2 movie, unfortuneatly it was sold out long before they got there and were unable to see it. The kids tried there hand at making a sand castle, they need a little more practice, but as you can see in the photos they have the moat part pretty well figured out!




Monday, June 15, 2009

The Beach week 3

I know, I know our usual beach day is Wednesday, but we did it a little different this week. Several families from our ward got together this evening and headed out to Port Aransas! It was a lot of fun. The Port A, beaches face the Gulf of Mexico so the waves are rather large. It made for a good time, except it's a little nerve racking keeping an eye on the younger kids. It was also fun for the kids since they all had friends from church to play and visit with. It was a really fun evening and I wish we could do things like this more often.

I spent last THU and FRI helping with the cub scout day camp for Alex and Joey. It was fun, they did several crafts including making marshmallow shooters, and bottle rockets. They shot bb guns, worked on not tying and an assortment of other things. I think they had a good time, and earned several activity belt loops, and passed off some rank requirements. I have been working with them the past few weeks and they are doing really good. Alex has completed his weblos badge, and his Arrow of Light! So he is ready to move into Boy scouts even though his birthday is still 5 months away. Joseph is very close to earning his Wolf badge. I am trying to encourage them to work on all this, and to set a goal of earning their Eagle scout before their 16th birthday.

Saturday I accompanied Chris and the other young men/young women on a temple trip. It was really good to be there with them and see how awesome our youth group is. I am so glad to have the opportunity to work with the youth in any capacity. Well I am starting to fall asleep so I will close with that

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Beach: Week 2

Well today was our usual trip to the Rockport City Beach. We got there a little later then usual due to Chris needing a physical for Scout camp in the morning. We got there and ate lunch and hadn't been there very long when Alex, Reagan, and Benny took off way out in the water. Much farther then they are allowed to go. This has been a problem in the past. I love Rockport because it stays so shallow, but the bad part is that the kids want to go very far out. I decided to try to put an end to this issue once and for a all. Even though we had only been there about 20 minutes I rounded everyone and everything up and headed home. It's a shame, it was another great day to spend picnicking at the beach. The kids were all very upset, but I do think they will be much better behaved when we go next week.
This evening Joey had a performance prior to the Hooks game at whataburger field. It was pretty cool, and he did an awesome job. We spent the rest of the evening at the game and had a good time, Hooks won 9-1. I took some photos so check them out.

Joey with a take down

Joey being taken down

Here is a couple pics of the "JOHAWK"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer Time fun

Well it's been pretty busy around here the last few days. Chris has joined the local swimteam, the watercats, so he has practice every morning at 8am. Alex, Benny, and Reagan are all in Gymnastics. Alex and Reagan had there 2nd practice today. Reagan loves it. She begged me all day to put on her new leotard. And kept asking what time it was, and how soon her class would start. When I told her in 30 minutes she said "OK, i will go wait in the car." She also told me Monday is her new favorite day. She loves it and looks so cute. Of course it is mostly tumbling and such but she is very excited to have her own activity to attend. I am amazed at Alex's progress in just 2 practices. Today they spent a good deal of time working on the pommel horse. There is only 2 other boys in his group so he gets plenty of attention from the coaches which is great. Benny is enjoying it as well. Joey is in Jujitsu. He really likes it. His class consists of 1 other 8 year old, an 11 year old, several teenagers. He has got a ways to go but has tons of enthusiasm.

Sunday after church I could no longer stand to look at my boys and there long hair. I sat them all on the back porch and gave them haircuts. I think they turned out pretty good. Chris, Benny, and Clayte all got your standard run of the mill haircuts. Alex wanted a Faux-Hawk, and Joey wanted a true to life Mo-Hawk. I am a pretty conservative guy but I figured you are only young once and it will grow out by the time school starts back up. Liz was none to thrilled but Joey loved it! He calls it a Jo-Hawk. In fact he told me he wanted to give me his allowance for doing such a great job. I told him that wouldn't be necessary but he insists, we will see if he still feels that way on Friday when I am doling out the cash.

I am trying to enjoy a few easy days right now as I will be helping out with the Cub Scout Day Camp Thu and Fri, then the youth temple trip on Sat. The best part about being a stay at home dad is getting to be so involved with the kids. I have coached Alex's baseball team for 2 seasons now and it has been so rewarding. He is moving up a division next year so I hope to coach Joey's team in the same division. I am also going to Scout camp for the second year in a row. What an awesome experience to spend time with Chris and the other awesome young men in our ward! Being a parent is really hard work, but it does pay dividends.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Beach: week 1

Last summer we started our routine of going to the beach once a week. It seems to be a big hit, the kids really enjoy it, and it really wears them out. Wednesday is the day we have choosen for this summer so I will be making a weekly beach report for all that are interested.
Today was one of those days God created secifically for going to the beach! The Sun was shining, there was a light breeze, and since it was the middle of the week there was hardly anyone else there. The kids had fun swimming, and using the plastic sand shovel to pick up jelly fish. They cought a dozen jelly fish (not that the JF put up much of a fight). They were very upset when I informed them we would not be taking them home. Joey stepped on a sharp shell early and decided to spend his time on the beach running back and forth between our cabana and the park.
I thought I may have left the kids at the beach and brought home Lobsters instead, but soon realized that despite the sunblock everyone managed to get a little burned. By the end of the summer I am sure they will all be nice and tanned.
As planned every one was tuckered out. Slept on the way home and were pretty quite this evening. I have posted the pictures, hope you enjoy.

Clayte with a little sand in his eye
Benny "Let's DANCE"

Joey and Reagan (The Sandy Haired girl)

Alex The Sand Blob

Joey drinking a sand 7-UP

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer Break?

We are officially 2 days into our summer "Break". Doesn't feel like much of a break to me. The house is full of rowdy, rambunctious, and very loud kids. Yesterday I spent the day driving kids to and from swimming, gymnastics, Jujitsu, and various other events.

I don't remember things being so complicated when I was a kid. Maybe I should check with my mother and see if her perspective is different then mine. It seems like I had more freedom when I was younger. I would ride my bike all day in the arroyo and desert around town. Take off hiking in the foothills. Or go to my buddy Jimmy's place and spend the day dirt biking or tearing stuff apart. I can't imagine letting my kids just roam free around town. I can't even let them ride their bikes without putting on helmets, knee and elbow pads and an assortment of other gear.

I don't understand how in this day of modern technology we have gotten so overbearing and protective of our kids. I once crashed my bike coming down from the Space Hall of Fame at, what seemed like, an enormous amount of speed. I had a busted thumb, and a bent rim to show for it. But it is one of my favorite childhood experiences. Perhaps the real problem is technology itself. My kids are so obsessed with xbox, DS, i-pods, cartoon network, and surfing the Internet it seems they have no desire to go outside. My older boys have never shot a BB gun, but have had tons of "battles" on their video games.

I want to teach my kids how to have fun. Force them to get outside and do something constructive. Heck I would even settle for them to get into a little trouble (just a little). So long as it doesn't involve anything technology related. Any one have any ideas??