Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Arrow of Light

In cub scouting, there are several ranks. In LDS cub scout packs, we don't incorporate Tiger Cubs just because of the nature of our program, but we start 8 year olds as Wolves. The first rank you receive before you can progress is that of Bobcat. It's simple to earn Bobcat, you just learn a little about cub scouts and what different symbols mean and who/what you should interact and respond to, and how to know if someone is acting inappropriately with you as a child. That can be done in a day if you really want to and have good memorization skills.
So after you earn Bobcat, you start working towards your Wolf rank. It takes a year to complete that and during that time you learn lots of things and experiment with lots of things and have fun with lots of things. The Wolf rank is fun to earn.
After Wolf is Bear. Earning the Bear rank is a little harder than the first 2. You have to put more of the things you learn into practice, you have to account more for the accomplishments you make...but even still, it isn't really HARD to do. It takes a year to complete this rank and lots of fun awards along with it, and then you progress to Webelos.
Webelos is actually a combination of words: We'll Be Loyal Scouts.
In community packs (those sponsored by schools or clubs or other organizations), a boy spends 2 years as a webelos. In and LDS pack, a boy spends 1 year as a webelos and then he moves up to 11 year boy scouts. While you work on your webelos rank, you do a lot more work. There are science experiments, more effort in woodworking, home repairs, creative experiences,... lots of extra stuff that an older boy can handle if he listens to his leaders and does his best. There are 20 activity pins in the webelos book. To earn his rank, he only has to do a portion of those and some extras within those categories. Then he can also continue working and earn his Arrow of Light. This is the highest rank a cub scout can receive and it is one that can be worn on his boy scout uniform...the only one (other than his religious knot). It isn't so easy to do, and he has to participate in a scoutmaster's conference to get here. He does less of this work at home with parents and more of it in den meetings where he accounts for his progression to his den leader. The Arrow of Light is special, particular to me. I love the symbolism that goes along with it.
Now, if the boy does all these things including completing all 20 of those activity pins, he is eligible for the Super Achiever Award. That hasn't been earned in our pack before, so that makes tonight special for us.

Morgan swam in water over his head...he did it for 100 feet! That was the toughest requirement that child had to face, and it was SO hard for him. He did it though... and he has received his Super Achiever Award and tonight he also received his Arrow of Light award. I'm so proud of him!

To make it extra special, Tommy and I made the arrow he was awarded. The arrowhead was one Manti made, I did the special beading on the shaft and Tommy put the entire thing together. I think it looks so pretty!

The rest of the ceremony defined the cub scout promise, which states:
"I promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people and to obey the law of the pack." His leaders stood up front with him and broke down that promise he made as a Bobcat and used scripture stories as reminders to things in his life that call for him to apply those principles. The first leader described the use of a compass as it relates to his Duty to God, and the use of the Liahona....a special compass from ancient days. She presented that Liahona to him (and it has a real compass inside AND it has some scriptural phrases in it too....way cool). Then the second leader was his sister. She asked him about heroes, and then told him about Captain Moroni being a heroic leader of other heroes. She described the Title of Liberty Moroni made and what it said and what he did with it. She described these things as they relate to his Duty to His Country. Then she gave him a small version of the Title of Liberty (Tommy and I made that...Manti used to make these out of his own t-shirts. I wish he could have been there and could have made one for Morgan!)
The third leader was Wanda Johnson, one of his Webelos leaders. She presented him with an electric candle that was on, and described the symbolism of the light that shines in him and his promise to Help Other People. The fourth leader was to be John Johnson, but he was sick and unable to attend. One of Morgan's best friends surprised him, so his friend and the friend's dad was there. They are dedicated scouts and awesome examples of what a scout is, so I asked the dad to stand in and do the 4th part. He agreed and then presented Morgan with a card with the Articles of Faith on it, reminding him that one of these articles of faith claims we choose to honor, obey and sustain the law of the land.
The last part of it was Tommy and I presenting the arrow we made to him. It was a sweet moment as I handed the arrow and Tommy told him to go forth and be faithful, following the straight path.

Poor kids hands were full, so he set things on the table and just held his arrow. He was so proud of himself, and so excited.

I thought Granny, Aunt Kitty and Aunt Lee might want to well as whoever else gets lost on the internet and ends up here.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Friday was a pleasant day for the most part. [insert that shark music "duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn"]
We took a drive into Atlanta to go to the LDS bookstore. My friend is getting baptized and I wanted to get her a gift, and of course, they sell stuff PERFECT for shipping goodies to Manti. So we do our thing and then head back towards home, stopping at the scout shop on the way. Morgan has earned his Arrow of Light award (the highest rank in cub scouting) and will have his ceremony this week. He is also being awarded the Super Achiever Award which denotes that he has earned EVERY activity pin a webelos can get. He's super because he has done it in 1 years time instead of the 2 years time that community cub scouts get. Yes, I'm proud. So I got him something special to show him I'm proud of him. He's the only cub scout we've had to do that in all my years of cub scouts.
We finished our shopping and got on I-285 headed home. It was 5 o'clock rush hour and it was ugly. When we got on I-20, traffic was even worse.. it was awful! I was tense and didn't notice much of anything else except what was right in front of me. I don't remember where along the interstate we were, but at some point I hear this softly spoken,... "Fire in the hole!"....followed by giggles....and then "JARED! My eyes are burning!" I barked at them asking what they were doing. Morgan said he was dying and Jared was laughing so hard at this point that he had no answer. I didn't get it (remember, I was focused on traffic) so Jared tried to help me understand. He whispers again "Fire in the hole!" and Morgan hollers "GET AWAY FROM ME PLEASE!" I looked up in my rear-view mirror and Morgan is trying to climb THROUGH the car door to get out of it and Jared is sunk down in his booster seat just beside himself in laughter. Before I could ask anything else, I figured it out. This horrid smell that resembled sulfur but with a rotten smell about it found its way to the front seat of the car.
I think I turned green. Tommy started giggling,....
Do you know how long a drive it is from Cobb Pkwy to Villa Rica?? looonnnnnnng!

If that wasn't bad enough, today is a quiet and calm Sunday afternoon. Want to know what my 2 little boys are doing? If these pictures don't tell the tale,...nothing will.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Baby Sinclair - Yoshi - ??

So a few weeks ago (I think it was a couple Saturdays ago, not sure anymore), we went to the flea market just because we could. It was right after payday so we had a few dollars we could throw away on fleas and that always makes it more fun.

We walk along and come to the section where this little tiny Asian woman is always always selling cheap toys. We usually avoid this section because its such a BIG section and has NOTHING of value EVER. I don't know why I didn't turn and go around the other way...but we went through this lady's section and just barely saw her tiny self bending over with something. She had turtles in her hand. They were about the size of a half dollar,.. no maybe not that big,...maybe a quarter. They were seriously tiny! She was putting them in those little tiny "aquariums" you usually find those little crabs for sale around the beach living in. I asked her how much, and they were barely anything, so I got one for Mesa (who thought she was going to die of boredom if she didn't get a pet turtle SOON!) and Jared pipes up and says "what about me? I need one too, ya know!" SO Jared got one too.

Well Mesa fell in love with hers and from her research, she's certain hers is a girl. It's name is Shelly. Jared was not willing to call his a girl, and according to Mesa's studies, Jared has a boy (whew!) so he named his Baby Sinclair (yeah after the Dinosaur show that was on tv eons ago). He decided that was hard to remember, so he changed the name to Yoshi (the turtle on the Mario Brothers video games). Last I heard, he was having a hard time remember that too and wanted to change it, but didn't know to what.

We have this little bitty turtle in our house and I refuse to feed it. To me, it was just a pet rock. It's not even MY pet rock, so I shouldn't have to feed it! I feed the fish in the aquarium that the same child just had to have (so got it for his birthday)...and that's not fair, so I laid down the law and Jared feeds it. This crazy little pet rock KNOWS Jared! It actually has a personality! It comes to Jareds voice and knows when Jared is close by and might feed him! He'll run back and forth and chase Jared from side to side. When I let the boys get him out to "play with him", he actually chases their fingers around too! I'm shocked! So I had to take a few pictures. Thought you might want to see.