This weekend was a big one for the 2 older boys. E had the regional spelling bee and Alex had the blue and gold banquet for cub scouts.
I took Ethan along with my mother-in-law and Jack to the community college where the bee was being held. I made sure E was okay with me not sitting backstage with him. Last year, Jas sat back there, just in case. He was so funny. He said to me "No, mom, I'm ok. I'm mom's big boy. I'm your big boy!" LOL. Yes, buddy, you sure are. So we went and sat down to wait for the kids to all be called back so they could start the bee. We waited for almost an hour! Finally they called the kids back and announced the judges and the gentleman who was giving the words, as well as stated the rules. E was #25 so we had a little of a wait. During the first round, each child had to state their name and school and then spell their first word. Of course, my son, the ham that he is, had everybody in the audience laughing. I even heard at least one person behind me say she remembered him from last year. He really does shine, and make an impression on people. I really don't know why I worry about his future so much. He's going to do just great out there in the big wide world some day. I just hope that "someday" doesn't get here too quickly... Anyway, he got the first word right: denture. They were having difficulty during the first round with sound so after all 75 students had a turn (53 made it to the next round), they took a 15-20 minute break.
Second round came and it was eventually E's turn again. This time: oratorio. He spelled it incorrect - ouritorio - but after a big sigh of disappointment, he walked off stage calmly and was just fine. :) I found out later that 38 kids went out in the second and third rounds, and round 12 ended with just 2 left. The last 2 boys battled it out for 13 more rounds, when the top speller finally run in round 25! Crazy! Anyway, so after E got out, I gathered our things, met my M-I-L and Jack in the lobby and picked E up from backstage and he got his "prizes" - a certificate, a dictionary, and a tote bag with a ruler, pencil and pad of paper inside. He decided since he has the same dictionary from last year, he wants to donate this year's to his classroom. When I asked him how he felt about getting out so early on, he said he was ok, and "how am I supposed to spell the word right, when I couldn't even understand what he was saying?" and "I don't remember even studying that word!" Ha. He is certainly something else.
Big thanks to Marsha - my M-I-L - for helping me out with Jack. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you!
Alex went with Jason and my F-I-L to the blue and gold banquet. They got to eat chicken shack and enjoy some time visiting. After lunch, they had the awards ceremony, starting with the younger kids (tiger, wolf and bear) and then the webelos got their awards and they did a special "arrow of light" ceremony.
Alex received his Bobcat patch and pin (finally!), his Wolf patch and pin, his Blue and Gold patch, Order of the Eskimo patch (for winter fun day), Scout Sunday patch (for wearing his uniform to church in February for Scout Sunday), and his Gold Arrow Point for finish 10 electives in his Wolf book.
He was so excited to show us when we met up at the house. I don't think he stopped smiling at all! Love it! We are excited to work on more electives with him, as well as belt loop activities, the family fun book and the Light of Christ book (so he can earn the family badge, and the pin/badge for Catholic 2nd graders!). I'm planning to drive over to the Scout store and pick those 2 books up this week, so he can finish them before the end of the school year.
At his next pack meeting, he should get his first two belt loops - collecting and video games. He is starting to collect coins from around the world and has a pretty nice start from old coins Jason and I had and gave to him. He found a 1943 steel penny at the consignment shop a couple of weeks ago that we are going to go back and get one of these days. ;)
As soon as we get all his patches on his uniform shirt and patches/pins on his red vest (before next Tuesday's den meeting?), he wants to wear his uniform on their next casual day - probably this Thursday! - to show the kids what he got. Seriously, the boy is so excited!
These two make me proud, not just because of what they do, but because of how they handle things. Even though Ethan didn't win, he took it in stride, mostly, and worked hard up until then. Alex worked hard to earn those badges, and wants to continue to work hard to earn more. So I'm proud that they aren't giving up, that they are building character, trying new things, working hard, learning, and having fun all the way! Speaking of learning and trying new things, Ethan went up to two of the other contestants on Sunday to introduce himself. While we probably need to work on his etiquette a little, he's made great strides in that. Before, he would have been oblivious to the other boys and girls, but he told me he wanted to go meet them! Baby steps are becoming leaps...
Oh yeah, and a big shout-out to my in-laws, Marsha and Joe! Thank you so much for treating us to dinner Sunday night and for coming with us to the boys' activities! It meant a lot to us and it was so nice to see you guys. I hope we can make it down your way sooner than later. And even though my mom had to work, thanks to my mom and dad, Linda and Gale, for thinking of us, texting me to find out how they did, and for trying to watch the live-stream, even though it was a crappy audio! I can't wait to see you guys again. It's been too long. :(