Saturday, December 20, 2014

Maybe It's Been Long Enough...

Since I should be getting out Christmas decorations and clearing space for the tree we ventured out into the rain for this morning, seems like a perfect time to finally, finally, blog.

Oh my goodness. So very much has happened since my last post July 30th.

Eliana's first day of kindergarten.
Adessa's first day of second grade.
Pumpkin hunting.
November, the whole month.

Here's the photos to prove:

Eliana's first ever day of school. We ate breakfast in my classroom, to beat the parking lot nightmare, and then walked the girls over. The first day went great! We've had to make some adjustments for Eliana, like making sure that she eats her snack at snack time, or she was falling apart by pick up time. Not for the teacher, of course, but for whoever was picking her up. Transitions are hard for Eliana. By November conference time, Mrs. Purtscher was finally seeing her loosen up with the other kids and really play interactively at recess, and was glad to see Eliana smile more in class. Eliana is shy but loves to raise her hand and participate in class discussions. Eliana has also had the hardest time with Calvin's swing shift, and as I was having a hard time with Eliana having a hard time, we had a hard time with each other for a while that played out when I was working in her classroom. She asked me a question about something she was writing, how to do it, and I didn't know. I told her I didn't know, we could ask the teacher, and she started crying and crying. All the other kindergarteners were so surprised, and kept trying to hug her and saying: "Look, your mom is right there!" Unfortunately, I was somehow the problem. It was awful. It's better now, but the whole swing shift period, since summer, has been hard hard hard. I feel like we are now pretty adjusted, most nights are fine, and Calvin just learned his shift is going to change. And now I appreciate how nice it's been to have him around for the morning routine and school drop offs. Oh dear!

Adessa's first day of second grade. Second grade is going well for her. She has a fabulous, very academic-minded teacher, and a bunch of rowdy classmates. Second grade surprised me, as kindergarten and first grade seem so sweet and loving and pre-guile, and second grade is... a little rougher. Adessa has a few friends she plays with at recess, normally fairy, mermaid, or unicorn games. She is perfectly happy to play by herself, though, if no one else is into what she's doing. Ms. Brick says that she is friendly and well liked by everyone, but also noticed that Adessa is perfectly happy working or playing alone. We have noticed this, too. We don't have a lot of playdates, and the girls' best friends and playmates are each other. Interesting!

Special blessing for school children at church.

Eliana settled into school. Here, Annea helps get the teacher's attention at dismissal.

Eliana's first ride on the school bus and first field trip (to Henry Cowell, of all places!)

Playing at the Drake's farm. Always fun. Lots of cousins around, farm animals, swings, not much more you could ask for. Aunt Deborah has been very intentional about family get togethers, and I'm so grateful.

Precious reading time with Aunt Deborah.

Annea perching. Funny little bird!

Family photo opps at the pumpkin farm. This is a nice way to gauge progress, as we've gone every year, with every stage previous and to come easy to see in all the other kids that are picking out their pumpkins, too. We are progressing! Things like pumpkin patches are getting easier!

Halloween! This was the year of undetermined costumes (though I vowed we'd plan ahead!) and last minute face paint. For school, Eliana was a purple princess bat (?) and for trick or treating, a princess. Adessa was a butterfly fairy, and Annea was most consistently in a little dance costume. They had fun and were cute, so mission accomplished.

Giggly girls.

Playschool fundraiser fun. One of those events where I was just going expecting to be supportive and community minded, and we all ended up having a wonderful time.

Pancreatic Cancer Fundraiser 5K walk, with Anne Rosenzwieg. What a fun connection I share with the Washburn/Rosenzwieg family, starting when I toured Europe with Lauren, stayed with her aunt and uncle for a week in Switzerland, and ended up living with them for a year as their nanny. Anne, the sister of Phil (my boss) and Suzanne (Lauren's mom), let me know about the fundraiser as she lost her brother in law to pancreatic cancer and had walked and volunteered before. We got a crew together and had a very lovely walk through downtown San Jose. At some points on the route we were proudly dead last.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


This week we are doing Family Camp at Mt. Hermon. Well, technically the girls are, as we haven't listened into any of the teachings this week... all are on the Reformation. Which we don't really give a fig about, being Orthodox. So I've gotten lots of errand running done as the girls have fun in their different class programs. Eliana learned a verse and made some friends, Adessa's made some friends and learned 400 new songs she wants to sing in their entirety at inopportune times, and Annea has felt like a big girl getting to go to "Playschool" and be dropped off. "Drop me off, Mommy?" she asks. So cute.

Eliana wearing "camp clothes", ready for her day of hiking with her class.
Adessa hanging out before her program started.

Doing a week of camp means we get to take advantage of many wonderful opportunities that Mt. Hermon offers its campers. Yesterday, Adessa and I participated in the kids' ropes course. She did great, it was just the right age (Eliana was nervous and opted out), and we challenged ourselves and pretended we were on "America Ninja Warrior". Fun!

Then, today (Wednesday) was train day. With discounted tickets, a sack lunch and food vouchers, we road from Redwood Camp down to the Boardwalk. The girls have rarely (one other time) ridden the train, so it was high adventure to be riding the rails. And then, even more fun, the beach and the Boardwalk.

Waving to anyone and everyone.


So excited for their first ever chocolate dipped cones. We tried to eat them before getting back on the train, but that wasn't going to happen.

We ended up with ice cream all over ourselves and the train car, but the girls loved their treats.

Riding home. Fun!! Thank you, Mt. Hermon!