Sunday, September 02, 2012

A Shark 5th Brithday

In June, Gabriel turned 5 and I chose a shark party, and then convinced him to go along.  I admit, his parties are a little about him spending time with his friends and a lot about a fun creative outlet for me.  I like planning them.  And the best part about this one, the youth at our church had a service auction and I won 3 wonderful girls to plan games and then come play with the kids for 2 hours.  So I really got to do only the fun stuff.
 Grandpa built the fabulous shark cut-out and then Nanna and I painted it and the kids had to toss wet sponges through it.
 It also make for really cute pictures.
 We had it at the park in front of our house and I stuck signs all over the grass.
 Gabe is taking a creak from all the fun.
 I packed them little "shark snack" bags so I didn't have to deal with serving food and plates for a bunch of 5 year olds. They had blue jello cups with gummy fish in them (alongwith other, more healthy food).
 We love Aunt Lindsay and Uncle Map, as the kids call him.
 I wanted to do cute cupcakes, but Gabe INSISTED on having a cake.  So a cake of shark infested waters is what he got.  And then Mario proceeded to tell me that sharks don't swim that close to shore.  Whatever.

 Lucia waiting for her cake.
 We invited all of the primary kids and a dozen kids from his school, but hardly anyone from school showed up. That's the bummer of a summer birthday I suppose.
I also made all the kids shark fins to wear during the party.  They looked adorable running around with their shark fins, sliding on the water slides, etc. It was a very fun party and a great way for Gabe to form stronger friendships with the kids from church since he doesn't go to school with them.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Legacy Lodge

Back in January we attended a charity auction for the youth at our church and with several other families we bid on a weekend at Legacy Lodge.  We got to enjoy it the first weekend of June and had the most fabulous time.  It's a traditional log cabin style - but you can't call a structure that is 20,000 square feet a cabin!  
 There were ~ 25 of us and there were still beds to spare and a kitchen that generously accommodated all 7 cooks.
 We played lots of games, ate lots of food, and really had a great time all together.
 We also played and played and played outside.  We brought our bocci balls and played lots of bocci on the lawn, as well as kickball and myriad other sports.
 We jumped off the tope swing and swam in the lake.
 Lucia just wanted to run on the lawn all day long.

 Mario and Brad with the central tree in the house - which is over 1200 years old.
 Veronica and Mario won the couples bocci tournament and were served breakfast the next morning.
 Sitting on the rocks in the little stream that runs through the front yard.

 Mario will the big fireplace behind him.
 Enjoying the media room

 Mario "borrowed" the tongue to the bear rug...
The weather was perfect, the location amazing and the company fantastic.  We hope we can repeat it next year!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

May Meanderings

May started off with a wonderful trip to California to see my oldest and dearest friends.  Tammy is having her first baby, so Jessica and I flew out for her baby shower and a weekend of wonderfulness.  I love these girls, and I am so grateful for their longstanding friendship.  They are amazing examples/inspirations to me on so many levels.
Aside from that, we always have the best time together and do all of my favorite things.  Hiking in beautiful scenery,
 dining on delicious food, and then shopping and a rendez-vous with Paige.
 Tammy's baby shower was in Tracy, where I grew up, so we drove by my old house - and it was crazy to see it -
And a Jennifer - a very dear friend that I haven't seen in FOREVER - also made it out.  
Seriously great weekend.
Lucas is already a veteran traveller - having gone to Palm Springs for the weekend with Mario and I to see the tennis match, then flying with me to New Jersey for 36 hours so I could attend a work meeting and then this trip to Cali - all before 2 months old!
 In May we also played outside a lot before it got too hot - sometimes in the rain,
but most of the time in the sun.  And on lazy Sunday mornings, in our pijamas.
I love this pic of them totally lounging in their play house.
Gabe's complete obsession with horses and making ranches continues.
 They also love to help with anything and everything - here helping their dad plant new flowers.
 They also LOVE pancakes, and ask for them daily, and I don't really love making them or eating them so I resist as often as possible.  However, when I do cave I try to make it fun by making shapes...
 I need better tools to create better shapes!
 Gabe had both his end-of-year program at preschool and his preschool graduation.
I love to watch him singing the songs - he LOVES the music!

 Lucas and I spent most of the program in the foyer while he fussed.  Overall, he's a pretty calm baby, but they always decide not to be at the most inconvenient times...
 All the kids were animals on Noah's Ark.  Gabe and Kirsten were horses - how fitting!
 Lucas busting out with his first smiles.
 Lucas at 2 months old - not cooperating for photos!!
 Mario and friends during a bocci tournament.
 Mario looks all pro, but apparently her "lets" the others win.
 The group.
 All the kids joining in for bath time.
 Cute baby in his carseat.  I don't know why his arm is like that, I swear I don't put him in the car like that!
 How Lucia spent Gabe's "Moving Up" ceremony.
 The school info said "Sunday Best" for the kids.  Apparently mine is the only one who wears a tie on Sundays!

 I was so cute to hear him say the pledge of allegiance and sing America the Beautiful.
 Gabe LOVED his teacher - Miss Yvette and I think she might have loved him even more.  He will miss her so much!

 Apparently this is the best backdrop we could find for a family pic???

 Gabe spent the first two weeks after preschool ended behaving HORRIBLE, and crying about leaving preschool and saying he did NOT want to go to kindergarten.  Poor sensitive kid has such a hard time with changes.  Hopefully that will get better as he ages???