Wednesday, August 29

This Week

Tim took this pictures of my kids looking so big on the walk to school one morning this week. I volunteered to work unexpectedly so Porter was really excited to pack a lunch and head off the spend the day with a friend and her mom at the zoo.
 Front and center watching the drummers at a evening concert in the Huntington gardens.
 Just a few friends buried at the beach.
 Look out 2028 Olympians, here is your gold medal beach volleyball players.

Monday, August 27

All About Matilda

For Matilda's first class project this school year the kids each were asked to put 5 things in a box that tell about their interests so the teacher and other classmates can get to know them. The students were asked to write a few sentences explaining what they chose. For posterity, I am listing below what Matilda included in her shoe box and what she wrote (with her spelling included):

1. Andrewsarchus - I love science! Andrewsarchuses were prihistoric mammals and they are very cool.
2. Swim goggles - I love swimming because it is good ecsersis. I learnd how to swim this summer.
3. Can of anchovies - I love salty foods espeshaly anchovys. I love sea food.
4. Photo of the rats - I have 3 pet dorf rats. Thar names are Watson, Leopold and Tinchi. They scweec wen they fit. [aka - squeak when they fight]
5. Korgi comic book -I love books and reading. This Korgi book is really speshil to me. It has Creephog in it. The artest drew me a picture in it. (At Comic-con, Tim got the author and the artist of her favorite comic to sign their newest book for her.)

She practiced her little presentation to us a few times and is excited to share her items in class. I was really impressed with how well she knew herself to represent her interests. I think if she was left to her own agenda that reading, swimming and "playing" with the rats would occupy 95% of her time.

Sunday, August 19

Staying Cool

It was crazy hot here today, and has been for more than a week now. I guess summer has finally arrived. We concentrated on staying out of our (HOT) house and keeping cool. Porter started the day in the wading pools at the preschool welcome party. It was a blast, as you can imagine.  
He managed to stay in his swimsuit all day long and finished the night with a romp in yet more water at the mall down near the Hollywood walk of fame.
 Matilda did change into clothes but that did not deter her from getting in on the fun.

Thursday, August 16


So far, so good for first grade it seems. Matilda's permanent teacher is just finishing up maternity leave and will start on Monday. Matilda has been reporting how wild her classmates are being (never her, no never, for sure!) and is seeming perturbed by it. I think she will be glad to be have things get more settled and orderly next week. 

Speaking of chaos, here is a shot of just part of our crew celebrating the end of day 1 back to school with gelato. 
 While in Newport Beach last weekend we let the kids each pick one item from the toy store and Matilda settled on a geode
Porter was very eager to get in on the hammering action. Swim goggles double nicely as safety goggles in a pinch. 
 Inspecting the crystals inside once she cracked it open.
 Today, after the summer away, I got back in the groove of things exercising at the Y. Porter was not previously a huge fan of the childcare room but went today completely willingly. To reward him for bravery I checked out rackets and a ball and took Porter to play in one of the racketball courts. He had an absolute blast! 
I also wanted to shout out to the Virginia cousins. We squeezed in a super quick visit with these guys on our road trip and Porter and Matilda have been talking about them all a ton since. (Matilda says good luck for Kindergarten; Porter says he wants to come hike around at the nature center again.) 

Tuesday, August 14

First Grader!

Off to the school races. 
Matilda is so so crazy excited. She ended up in a class with three of her closest pals so hopefully the chit chatting is not a problem!

Sunday, August 12

Beach Weekend Getaway

We went overnight this weekend down to Newport Beach for a quick family get-away before first grade starts Tuesday (ah!). It was such a perfect little beach town and we had a perfect beach weekend.
Porter needs his tongue out to play whack-a-mole. 
 We rode a ferris wheel in the aptly named "Fun Zone."
Frozen banana dipped in chocolate with Porter's choice of topping = perfect pick-me-up for an exhausted beach boy.
I think these guys really look like siblings here as they both display their concerned faced. They were watching the ferry park as we waited for our turn to ride.
More concern.
 Sunny beach girl.
Like a kid in a candy store; they both choose chocolate rocks as their pick.

Now that we have discovered this not-so-far-away beach, I suspect we will be back soon for a day trip. It was the perfect beach with mild waves and beautiful clear water.
The hotel pool was almost as good as the beach to Matilda. It took a lot of cajoling to get her out of the pool this morning so we could get on with our beach-fun-agenda.

Friday, August 10

Animal Portraits

My Dad and Kathy's house is a great place to clock some animal time if you are an animal loving kid, or adult for that matter. Meet just some of the cast of characters:

Widus, a big sweet lab-poodle mix (aka labradoodle). 
Unidentified lamb.
Kitty, a sweet old girl.
Gracie, the oldest ewe on the farm.
Annie, a pretty white horse.
Eli, the big boss draft horse.
Shadow the miniature horse. He likes to think he is boss. Don't bother trying to tell him otherwise.
Ricky the pug. Dad called her a skitter-flea and Matilda loved that nickname. It perfectly personifies Ricky as she is a nervous girl.
Otis the donkey is like a big dog; every time I visit he just gets friendlier.
Beautiful Sammy was just a tiny kitten at our wedding reception, stalking through the tables.
Snaggletooth Ginger.
Abbey, at your service.
Wild geese out by the pond.
Cassidy the pug has claimed the picnic table as her napping zone.

Thursday, August 9

Family Food Heritage!

In only 5 days with my family at the lake we managed to eat a lot of food! Here are some possible submissions for the next family-cookbook-compliation:

Greek salad by Mom. 
"Mexican s'mores" presented by Mary Beth. Tortillas with peanut butter, chocolate chips and marshmallows all wrapped in foil and melted to perfection.
Aunt Gia did us right with her ice cream truck perfectly named the "Gemma Sundae."
Pancake bar: chocolate chips, dried cranberries, almonds and fresh blueberries. You can imagine what kind of pancakes my kids ate that morning!
Experimental territory here. Mike and Janelle assisted me in my crazy idea to bake spice cake (from a box mix!) inside oranges, wrapped in foil, in the campfire. Great Grandpa Fred approved of the final results.
Enchiladas, steak, rice and guac (not shown because I ate it all) by Aunt Lori and Aunt Jeanne. Those East coasters always want Mexican food so they delivered.
Rich filled brownies. I challenge you to eat two of these. You will hurt.
Salted peanut chews. "Not a Christmas cookie. A camping cookie."
Grandma Marge and Grandpa Chris do Cornell BBQ chicken.
Aunt Jeanne again with a fabulous pizza night.
It takes a lot of supervision to turn those campfire treats properly.
(Note: The sweets to food ratio may be slightly skewed in my representation here, but only slightly.)