Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Highlights of 2013

The kids were very busy this past year with school and other activities.

Mendocino for a week with her 5th grade class for science camp.
AstroCamp with 6th grade class in Fall: week of science and adventure (zip lines, etc) in So.Cal
Seattle to visit her friend Erika.

Three day trip to Elkus Ranch with 3rd grade class.
Davy Crockett report
4th grade Beach Trip and field trip to the Bay Model in Sausalito

Shark report
Field trips to Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seymour Marine Lab in Santa Cruz, Marine Mammal Center

Andrew and Dylan both played Baseball in the Spring. Dylan played on the Astros and had a great time. Andrew played for the Cubs. It was his first year playing and he came a long way. He got to try out pitching which he enjoyed and they both can't wait for it to start up again.

Soccer! Gina played Spring and Fall. The Minions (Fall) went to the U12 Tournament and came in 5th. Andrew and Dylan played in the Fall. Andrew's team the Wolves went to the U10 tournament and also came in 5th. Dylan's team, The Great White Sharks, won every game except for one tie.

Andrew also started playing the sax while Gina still enjoys playing the flute and singing in the school choir. She went to a week long music camp in Cazadero during the summer.

Summer vacation in Montana:
Kids had fun riding the horses, doing archery, swimming in Lake Como, playing with BooBoo the dog,  and roasting marshmallows outside.

Cousin Cason welcomed a new baby sister, Rory, last March. She is growing fast and almost walking!

And the year ended with Vic getting a job at Sepaton. Can't wait to see what adventures 2014 brings!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

We had a nice Christmas this year. Once again, we waited until a few days before Christmas to get a tree. Andrew started to sound a little worried that we wouldn't get a tree this year, but we made it happen. Not as many choices (but 50% off), but we found a nice one.

For Christmas eve, we went to the children's pageant mass at church. The church is always beautiful this time of year and it is always crowded. My three never want to participate but it is fun to see all the other little kids dressed up as angels and shepherds.

We came home and had a delicious crab dinner. Then the kids set to work to put up the tree and decorate it. Once Vic got it in the stand and I pulled out the boxes, they put up the lights and the decorations.

The next morning the kids were up with the sun. (They are under strict orders to not get up if it is still dark outside after they got up at 4am one year and then fell asleep during church). After a flurry of opening presents, they were quite happy. This year seemed to have a decided sports theme. Dylan got a Tom Brady jersey, and both boys got 49ers stuff and cards for the batting cages. Andrew also received a football board game. Gina was happy with an architect design kit and a screen printing kit. They also received an animation kit for doing stop motion animation. So far, no movies but lots of photos. I need to find the software to put all the photos together.

When it was all done, we ended up going out to the movies to see the animated movie Frozen. The movie, based on the story The Snow Queen, was very entertaining. We all enjoyed it. Then it was off for Chinese food. The food was great though the kitchen forgot to make the Chinese fried chicken, the only dish Andrew was willing to try. So his dinner was white rice and Sprite. Hopefully, we will do better in that department next year.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Fun

This year for Halloween Dylan decided to be Darth Vader while Andrew decided on the CryptMaster costume after I said no to all the zombie costumes. The giant ax was the biggest selling point.  It originally had a skeleton mask but he never liked how it fit, so he used his ninja mask from last year.

Gina spent the last two months working on her bird costume. She came up with the design and put it all together, except for a little help sewing on the velcro for the wings.  It was very colorful! I think I will be finding little colored feathers around the house for quite some time though.

We went around our neighborhood with three other families from school, 10 kids in all! The kids kept worrying that we would miss a house or two but in the end, their bags were pretty full. We will be eating candy until Easter.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Around the Bend

Our summer vacation this year was divided into two parts. First we went to Oregon and then our usual jaunt to Montana to visit my dad.

Some friends of mine wanted to meet up in Bend, Oregon to do a triathalon. They wanted me to do it as well but I just couldn't quite figure out how to train for the swimming and biking. I've been running though so I signed up for the 10K and the 5K. Vic was less than thrilled to be going to Oregon just for a running event, but hoped to catch up with our friends who we don't see very often.

The event also sponsored a kid event, a splash and dash. The kids had fun going down the slide and through an obstacle course and then a run to the bridge and the finish line.

And then the best part: shaved ice!

We also got to visit the High Desert Museum just outside Bend. The kids loved seeing the river otters and the Gila monster.

There was also an area built like a homestead. The kids pumped water to water the garden and played a game with sticks and a hoop. They even had fun scrubbing a porch and sweeping.

To get to Montana, we drove to Portland to drop off the rental and take a plane to Missoula. I figured we would get an early start, visit the zoo or Children's museum in Portland and then fly out the next day. However, no early start, a long drive to Portland and so when we got there, it was raining and half an hour until closing. So instead, the kids climbed around an old locomotive. Then we drove to a restaurant that I had read about only to discover that it isn't open for dinner during the week. Portland was a complete bust. So, onto Montana...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Highlights of the end of 1st Grade

Andrew also had a busy end of the year in 1st grade. The focus of the last few months of school was the ocean. So there were field trips to Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Seymour Marine Lab. At the Aquarium, the kids got to touch sea stars and sea urchins and feed sea anemones and sea cucumbers. After lunch, the kids got to see a few things in the aquarium so our group headed to the sea jelly and sea horse exhibits. The leafy sea dragon below was Andrew's favorite.

At the Marine Lab in Santa Cruz, the kids learned about the Santa Cruz ecosystem. Below, Andrew got to pet a leopard shark.

For the his ocean project, Andrew got to study the sea jelly. Here he is at the Art Show with his ocean folder.

And here he is showing Gina and her friend Erika his Sky Tree picture up on the wall.

Here are Gina's ceramic contributions to the Art Show.

The last few weeks of the school year went by quickly. Andrew's two teachers announced that they wouldn't be returning next year. I got a little bit of warning so another parent and I were able to put together a photo album. I never did get a photo of Andrew with his teachers but they did a great job helping Andrew grow during 1st grade. He started the year being very cautious, reluctant to raise his hand and speak up in class. By the end of the year, he was quite comfortable in class. Hopefully, this will carry over to 2nd grade.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The end of Preschool

Last week was Dylan's last day of preschool. He got to wear a crown with sharks which he loved. I had the kids each pick out a book to donate to the preschool since they each went there. I was sad to say goodbye to Dylan's teachers and they were sad to see him go. We had been at the school for 8.5 years ever since Gina was 4 months old.

Two weeks before, Dylan had his preschool graduation ceremony. The kids are always very cute walking in and then singing a few songs. This year they did it inside the classroom as the garden was under construction.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Highlights of the end of 3rd grade

In the spring the kids went to Ardenwood Farms for an all day field trip and got to hang out with chickens and sheep.

The class also went on an overnight field trip to Elkus Ranch.

The trip started with a 4 mile hike from the top of Skyline down to Purisima Creek. The weather was beautiful and we saw lots of wildflowers as well as quite a few banana slugs. The kids then spent three days learning how to take care of the animals on the ranch, pulling weeds in the garden, and preparing their homesteading report. The kids were divided into families and they had to come up with a plan for how much land they needed and how they were going to use the land. On the second night, each family presented their proposal to the "town council". Gina dressed up in her prairie outfit. The night of the town council was also Gina's 9th birthday. The kids had already planned on ice cream for dessert so I made some cake to go with it.After Elkus, the kids focused on their 1800 historic figure report. Gina had picked Laura Ingalls Wilder. She had read all the books and we found numerous biographies at the library. She worked hard on her project and did a good job on the report. At the end, the kids dress up as their figure and the parents get to go around to each kid and hear their presentation. Gina was one of the few who had their report completely memorized and she got a lot of compliments on her presentation.

The last two weeks of school went by quickly with the kids sorting through their work and bringing home bags of papers and art projects that I still need to sort through. The third graders got to walk to a nearby park on the day before the last day and had a fun day playing and running around.

The last day of school was a little sad as I was sorry to say goodbye to Gina's totally awesome 3rd grade teacher. Gina had a good last day as she got to go off with her friends for lunch and frozen yogurt. Now it is 10 weeks until 4th grade...