Saturday, January 24, 2015

Happy New Year - 2014 Year in Pictures!

Happy New Year to everyone!  2015 came way too fast.  We had a very exciting and eventful 2014 and we hope that everyone had a wonderful year and that 2015 brings much joy and happiness.  Our children are developing and growing so fast...too fast!  Our girls are now 7 and our son nearly 5.5 years old.  Please click on the video below to see our (very long but fun) 30 minute 2014 Year in Photos.  Happy New Year!

Monday, November 10, 2014

2014 - 2015 First Day of School

This year was a very special first day of school.  Special, because everyone was super excited about going to their new class, meeting their new teachers and seeing both old and new classmates.

Natalie shows off that her spelling skills still stuck with her after a long summer break!

Special, because we began this year's routine of learning, expanding and stretching the imagination, absorbing tremendous amounts of information each day, ultimately generating vigor inside each child to return tomorrow and the next to learn more and more.

Amanda beams about the thought of math, science and reading waiting for her at school.

Such a special day, where Will starts Pre-First as a young 5 year old, and is now able to attend the same school as his big sisters.  Where each child can be an individual to pursue their own thoughts and dreams, and learn because they want to learn.  Such a special day for parents, where we are blessed (so far) that all of our kids exhibit all the passion for learning and becoming better people.

Will is also looking forward to seeing one of his best friends who also moved to the new school from the former Montessori school, not to mention his looking forward to playing everyday in the playground with all the other kids, where he can show off his skills on the famous monkey bars.

Wow, Will's first day of School!!!!  What a handsome boy!

Amanda cannot wait to get there!

Natalie is also super excited with a beautiful smile!

Twin sister's!

Natalie, Will and Amanda take a quick series of final photos before we head to the car and take off.

Only 1 more decent photo out of the bunch.

The three monkeys...

A proud family photo...(not sure what Will is doing)

Backpacks, lunch coolers and rolling book bags accompany all to their new classrooms.

Will tries out his new desk in Mrs. Mertell's Pre-First class.  It has his name and a box for all his pencils, markers and crayons.

Mrs. Mertell with Natalie and her former student Amanda.

Will, who occasionally was able to play on the play ground when picking up the girls, now gets to play each and every day with them.

Amanda, just hanging around still full of smiles.

Natalie is excited to see all her friends return.

And what is school without your best friends!  Natalie, Brooke, Ava and Amanda pose for a photo....wait, where is Will?

Here he is!

Amanda is sitting on her lunch box, waiting to be called to attention.

Natalie also enjoys a quick rest and a chat with a friend.

Attention is called and all the kids line up to hear the opening day remarks from the principal.

Right before Mom and Dad left, we were able to take a quick photo of Will class.  If you notice, there is one chair empty...Will's.  He was in Daddy's arms, overwhelmed by all the newness and excitement.  However, it was short lived and he quickly recovered, returned to his seat and later that evening said, "today was the best day ever!"  Don't you just love it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Kids are Funny!

We have said on many posts that our kids are growing up so fast, in a blink of an eye they are 6 and 5.  As they have matured since birth, it is wonderful to see their sense of humor blossom as well!  We laugh everyday listening to them and watching them have fun.  The other evening as we were getting ready for bed, Natalie found some funny face stickers that were to be applied to a sticker book.  She had her back to us and we knew she was up to something, then suddenly she turned around to show off her handy work!  

We all laughed and the Amanda and Will also decided to join the fun. 

I can't stop laughing every time I see this one of Will!  It actually matches his sense of humor perfectly!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Will's Last Day of Montessori School

Mom and Dad had a tough decision, but eventually we decided that even though Will has a early birthday making him one of the youngest kids in his class, we would take the next step and send Will to Kindergarden at the same school the girls will also start first grade.  Will was so excited for his last day at his Montessori school to say bye to his teachers and classmates.  However, that morning he was feeling ill, so he did not go to school.  We all were all disappointed because he had so many good friends and memories at Bergamo.  Fortunately, he started to feel better before the end of the school day so we made a quick trip over so he could see to all his classmates.  What a great trip!  Our experience was totally unexpected, memorable and just reaffirmed how special is our little boy.  When we arrived, Will was surrounded by his classmates [mostly girls ;-)] who wanted to share their hugs, kisses and well wishes.

The hugs and kisses lasted for a very very very long time as each kid want their turn to say good bye.

Where did Will go?

During the group hug, Dayna and I heard one of the kids say, "Even though Will is leaving us, he will still be in each of our hearts."  The adults started to was a very emotional event but Will took it much better than the adults.

Will's guy friends also wanted to say goodbye, but also really did not want to let him go.

This is a great photo of Will and his classmates right before we left.  We have been so pleased with his Will's development, both socially and academically, and thank Dayna for all her love and attention she provided to Will.  (Dayna can be seen in the center right behind Will!)

Did someone say, Make a Funny Face?  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Family Weekend Trip to San Francisco

The weekend before the kids school started, we decided to take an impromptu weekend trip to San Francisco where the kids could enjoy all the great kids activities found in the bigger city.  An additional bonus was the spectacular weather we enjoyed.  The family Selfie says is all, we had a great great time! 

Our fun started in the hotel lobby sitting in the big backed chairs and balancing on one very large marble.

Near our hotel was the Children's Creativity Museum.  Will (dressed as a dragon) and Natalie perform a puppet show.

However, the highlight of the event was the claymation studio.  The kids were able to build their clay figures, then film them in action!  It was lots of fun.

The giant block play area was also lots of fun...Natalie and Amanda make a seesaw with Will making a castle in the background.

We also were able to go out to dinner at a real adult restaurant and the kids were full of fun and good behavior.  Here are some silly photos of Natalie with Mom!   Don't they both look great!

Walking around the city you will run across many cool structures and large art installations.  The kids try to hide inside the colorful wind chime.

We also found these very large Easter Island figures inside a garden area.  If you look closely you can see the very scared faces on Natalie and Amanda as the security guards large loud speaker says, "Get off the garden and back onto the walkway, Now!"  ;-)

After we calmed the nerves down, we were able to capture some cool pics of the kids trying to be stone figures.

Look how crazy we are!

The next day we went to the California Academy of Sciences.  This place is amazing with all the cool stuff to do and learn, we will definitely come back.  They have a very large rain forest with birds and butterflies, a planetarium, an earth quake simulator, an aquarium, a natural history museum, unique zoo animals, special exhibits, goes on and on and on!  We started our adventure in the rain forest and we managed to stop the kids long enough for this pic.

Birds and butterflies were flying all around, and Natalie tries to charm one onto her hand.

Come here little butterfly.

This one is playing hard to get!

Mom was the lucky one to have one land on her finger.

Soon after, Natalie achieved success!

Natalie (and the butterfly) was nice enough to let Amanda take a turn. 

Amanda is so proud!

We saw lots of big fish in the aquarium.

Beautiful and colorful coral!

They even have a swamp area with an albino gator!

We next venture out on top of the building to enjoy the scenery.

Skulls!  Their special exhibit was skulls, and hundreds of them of not a thousand!  Will stands below an elephan's skull to show just how big it is.

Amanda wants in the photos as well.

Right before we started the drive home, we made a quick trip to the beach so the kids could burn some energy.  As I said, we had a georgous day and the kids loved the water.  Even though they did not have swim suits, it did not stop them from running with the waves.  Amanda is on the left, Will in the center and Natalie on the right.

Watch out, the waves are crashing in on them!  Everyone was soaked by the end, but had a great time.  We changed clothes and began to plan our next trip for more fun.