Griffin had his Boy Scout summer camp at Woodruff Scout
Reservation in Blairsville again this year. He had some fun classes,
with Water Sports, Motorboating, Small Boat Sailing and a few
others. In all he earned 6 Merit Badges, bringing his total to 21,
which is really something for a 12 year old.
He was a bit nervous about the water Skiing part. I had to tell him
that falling will happen but it doesn't hurt. After he fell he told me
that yes, I was correct and he did actually have fun. But his
favorite, by far, was the sailing. He had a ball and wanted to sail
more in the future. If only we had a boat.
One thing, on his last day of skiing he was on the dock and got a
huge splinter in his foot. we had to go to the health lodge where
they dug it out. While watching them do this I kept thinking, I wish
they would quit so I could do it myself. The boy was in awful pain
and maybe I could have made it just a bit better.
School came to a close and, with that come the end of year awards for
the elementary school kids. These are silly things that the teacher
makes up and the kids vote on. This year we are proud to announce
that Brooks won the Technology Award. He also won the coveted
"Mountbaten Award", which is really something as he is the only one in
the class and school using the Mountbatten. Go B!
But, the way the teacher put it is, Brooks was the most likely to create
a game and make a lot of money. Funny for a blind kid but very likely,
knowing Brooks.
At one point she said that he knew everyone's phone type and how they
work. If anyone had questions about technology, Brooks would know.
As he was getting his award he stood up and announced "that's true",
which brought laughter from the crowd. But again, as he said, it is true.
But the boys did a great job in school this year. Brooks has learned so
much and his reading is really something. Griffin may have had some
struggles here and there but he did finish the year on the honor role
and we are incredibly proud of him.
It has been a while since the last update. The first major thing was Easter.
We did our family meal this year, as always, at Grandmother and Papa's
house with the Fraker family. It was fun but egg hunts are kind of falling
off there as Griffin and Brooks are the only ones hunting eggs these days,
and I think Griffin may be losing a bit of interest in it. In fact, he decided
during the hunt to stop looking and just help his brother.
Getting together with the family was nice but sadly, we haven't gotten
together since then, unless you count Forrest's wedding. What happened, I
have no idea.
But, back to Easter. Griffin did get to do something different this year. He
participated in an underwater egg hunt at Boundary Waters, the local
county aquatics facility. It was neat because the staff had plastic eggs with
small holes in  them. They threw them in the water and the eggs sank. They
then blew the whistle and the kids went at it, trying to find the eggs. Griffin
is a very good swimmer and did fine but when it was over they had to give
the stuff back. No candy kids, sorry.
But is was fun, I think.
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R.A. & Melisa -
Today is Friday, August 1. It is quiet now as no one else
is awake but me. The boys start school again next week
so they can get all the sleep the want today. We'll
begin working on the gradually earlier wake up times
over the next few days. For now, it is peaceful.

The past few months have been kind of here and there.
We went through busy weeks, where it seemed it was
one thing after another, and then we went through slow
weeks, where it just seems kind of boring. What do I
mean, you ask? Well, let's recap, shall we?
After we returned from the beach Brooks continued
to be busy. He attended his second Twilight Camp,
this year as a Wolf. Last year he didn't have a
great time because, really, what does a blind child
care about space and stars? This year, however, it
was a Knights theme. He originally didn't want to go
but I "talked" him into it. Turns out he had a great
time. He made a sword and shield, played
basketball, learned about electricity and all sorts
of things.  It was a good week.
Update time!!!!
The R.A., Melisa, Griffin and Brooks Fraker
"All About Us"
I, personally, did not enjoy camp as much. Our camp site was way in the back of camp and up and down large hills. It is a
mountain, after all. We found shortcuts but nothing made it more fun. I like being able to get back to camp and hang out it I
want but the location was so bad I spent the entire day away from camp. To be honest, I hated it. Nice site, to be sure, but
too far away to enjoy it. I do not want to go back to Woodruff next year.
We took a trip to the newly renovated Delta aviation museum. The boys have
been wanting to go back and, now that it has been up redone we figured it was a
good time. The place is much nicer looking that it was and there are more
displays but it really didn't seem any better to me that before. Also, I'm glad
I am an employee and we get in for free because they charge a lot of money for
everyone else. It is definitely NOT worth it.

Funny story alert!!! The other day we were sitting around. Griffin was in my
chair doing something on his phone (imagine that) when he had a bit of a noisy
moment. Yes, he pooted.
Well, as if that wasn't enough, Brooks chimed in with the comment "Thank you
for that delightful aftershock". Oh my gosh, that was hilarious! It was funnier
than the actual event.
As school ended, the first order of business was
vacation. This year we left directly from school and
headed to Oak Island. As you know, we tried the gulf
last year and were kind of disappointed so we went
back to North Carolina.
The house has nice and the beach was also. We played
in the water with no sharks (see last year's beach
trip). We had some good waves this time and the boys
played in the water most every day. There was one day
that we decided we just wanted to hang out and did not
swim but you need those days every so often.
The past couple of weeks have been a bit slow. Not a lot has gone on and we are gearing up for the school year. Brooks has
been reading every day for most of the summer and has hated most every minute of it but now it is time for the real deal.
Griffin is OK with it, although he doesn't talk about school. But he is excited that he will be taking French as a regular class.
He did well enough in reading that he can drop it and take a foreign language. Before long we'll be eating nothing but quiche
and croissants.
So, I think I've caught us up to now. It is going to be a busy next few months and I hope to update soon. So, bye for now!
Melisa and Griffin did their annual flashlight hike at Clinton. There was a worry that it would be rained out but the weather
held and they got to walk in the woods in the dark. This is the second year they have done it and it always seemed like fun. They
have their flashlights but also take plenty of glow stuff. Melisa does love her glow.

June 14 was a great day. Griffin turned 12 years old. Holy smoke, 12 years! And he has grown like crazy the last year. Don't
believe me?
Look here and see for yourself. Notice where his elbow is compared to the chair rail in each picture. Gee whiz!
That is a lot.
Griffin had a big event in the Spring. He had already been elected into the Order of the Arrow, the Honor Society for Boy
Scouts, by the Troop. Well, he participated in his Ordeal in May. This is the induction process and involves various things over
the course of a weekend. I was fortunate to be able to be there during this and watch as he went through and I am very proud
to say he completed everything and is now a Brother in the Order of the Arrow. Next year he'll complete his process as he goes
through the Brotherhood Trail.
Also, he had his spring band concert. We look back to the concert at Christmas and the basic "hot cross buns" and such and
think of how nice it is to hear our children play music. well, this concert was light years ahead of that concert. The kids played
much more difficult music and we were so impressed with the progress they had made, particularly Griffin, He was easily the
best one there. I swear, he stood head and shoulders above all those other wannabees.
It seems like so long ago that Brooks was afraid of the beach and even touching sand. Now he is amazing to watch as he takes
off full speed down the beach towards the water. This year he was dead set on catching a crab so he created several "crab
traps and I'll be darned if he didn't actually catch one. With a little help from the tides and maybe a "less than active" crab.
And Griffin.....good grief, that boy is always wanting to ride the waves. I think if we lived in the right place he'd be a surfer
named "Moon Doggie".
The next week he had Bible School. It was a "Weird Animals"
theme. Again, he had fun and they did some neat things and made
some stuff.
One thing about Bible School this year, Griffin is officially too old
for Bible School and can no longer attend as a participant. We
tried to get him to volunteer but I think he just wanted to take it
So lets see, that is basically three weeks in a row of activities for
Brooks. Pretty busy, I would think. But a funny thing happened less
that 2 weeks after Bible School.
Brooks actually made a comment that his summer was boring and he hadn't done anything. I had to remind him that, in fact, he had
only been one week without doing anything. And not long after that he took part in his first Independence Day Parade. Goober.....