This is my 'big' baby, Michael (up on top). He's my rough and tumble, 100% boy, boy. But don't let him fool you. He is VERY sensitive. VERY. He likes to dish the teasing but don't you get too close to his tender areas. He's quick to help a need (as long as it's not mine or his brothers'), has a mind full of 11yo thoughts and dreams, and a mouth that can't keep up with it all.
Michael is a reader. When I homeschooled, that was like my key subject. You learn to read, you can do ANYTHING! Well, he reads. In the car, in the school bus, at bedtime-under his blankets with a book light til all hours, at Gr'mas and at church (if he can get away with it). And he isn't content with elementary library books. He's into the 'more mature' reading now. Like the Alex Rider series, Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr from the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. He eyes my books and I have to hide them. I taught him the joys of Reader's Digest just recently while he waited to see the chiropractor. His all-time favorite books that he has with him all the time and almost everywhere he goes are The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden from which he gets his ideas for forts and learned how to make a smelting net, and Biggest Ever Book of Questions and Answers by Parragon Publishing. Now if I could just get him that excited about his Bible, he'd have all the tools a growing boy needs.
Michael also plays clarinet. Now, he's been teased at school by the sax and trumpet players that clarinets are for girls. But we went on the internet and showed him how the clarinet is a key jazz instrument and lots of well-known jazz musicians (MEN) play the clarinet. He takes pride in his musical abilities though that doesn't necessarily mean he likes to practice. This year his school had to do some downsizing because of finances so the Superintendant ended up taking up the band classes. At the beginning of October he called and asked if we'd mind Mikey playing with the high schoolers this year. His school has 3 lvls for band--4th graders, 5th and 6th, and High School (7th-12th). He said Michael was bored and needed a challenge. So that's what Michael is doing. And he really enjoys the challenge. He went from 2 practices a week to 4 and lots of new music that entails more skill and talent. I'm really excited to hear him play at the Christmas concert.
Michael's hero right now happens to be a tree climber, much to our chagrine. So that's where you'll find him if there's a good climbing tree around--up amongst the squirrels. As you can see, he's not afraid of heights, though we would prefer that he was!