Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The end of October highlights

Here are the highlights:
  Deb came down up for work and we got to see her and Heather for dinner at our house. She then came up to our house with Theresa Saturday morning to hang out with the boys and then eveyone in Nor Cal (except me) went to Dim sum. I wasn't able to go because I was hosting October's brunch cookbook club at our house. It is always such a pleasure to spend time with Deb. It was nice to see Heather as well, we have been trying to have her over for a couple months, but she is a very busy lady. The same week we also had Mick and Marisol over for Mick's 32nd birthday. We made him his favorite: fish tacos and guacamole with apple pie for dessert. On Friday, we had the Paulson's over for dinner and games. We played Through the Dessert and had a really fun evening.
  The boys have moved on to harder scooters. Vander is now on the two wheeler and Ollie is riding Vander's scooter. I am proud of them, but now I don't have a scooter to ride with them. They really like riding around in Super Hero capes. They got some new capes recently at Zade's Super Hero 5th birthday party. They both had a great time playing Super Hero games and making masks. Zade has been Vander's buddy from the very beginning of his life.
Oliven and I have been going to Happy Hallow with Gina and Daniel. Oliven was finally tall enough to ride the roller coaster (as long as I was sitting with him). He loved it so much that we had to go on it twice in a row.
I also got a chance to go to the Witch's party for the 3rd year in a row and exchange useful little gifts with the other witches at Polly's house. She is so creative. Hannah and Polly are super special ladies and I am really thankful to have them both in my life. I was the "Fiery Hot" Witch.
  Ollie's preschool went on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. Ollie enjoyed running around with his friends, but he did not want to pet the bunnies. He doesn't like animals that could lick/make him dirty.
  Sunday we went to the South Valley Halloween party at Carrie's house. Carrie had crafts set up, but the kids were too busy playing tag and eating mummy dogs to notice. We all had a good time and we even attempted a group picture. Carrie even had a tub of cooked pasta noodles set up in the backyard for the kids to play in, and that was a huge success.
  Always last in October is Halloween and trick-or-treating. 1st thing in the morning I took Ollie to Whole Foods and Willow Glen to trick-or-treat and we had a good time. Carrie and family met us for Willow Glen. Then, at noon Justin came home early so I could go help out at the Kindergarten Halloween party in Vander's classroom. They had each kid bring a pumpkin dish to share. It was really a great idea and a good mix of savory and sweet. The kids really enjoyed it and Van loved that I was there to help.
 Larry and Theresa have come down to our house to have dinner and hand out candy for several years now and we appreciate it. This year Justin and I made witch's brew and a squash and green bean spider. We take the kids out to gather candy. This year a big group of our friends decided to meet at Kira's house and we joined them for the fun. There is an element of fun to going around the neighborhood with a large group of friends. Oliven made it about 30 minutes before he decided that he was done. Vander never wanted to stop. He finally did when his feet were hurting after about 1 1/2 hours. The kids were very happy with their "loot". They had a fun evening and so did we. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

Vander went to the Pumpkin Patch with school and Ollie will go with school, but I thought it only fair that I take them once when they could both go, so we headed over to Giordanno Farms when the Almaden 2008 group was meeting up. That meant the kids could play with friends and enjoy the afternoon. We had a good time. The boys got to ride the train (and someone else paid for it because she really wanted her kid to be able to ride. I told her I'd pay for it and she did it anyway...thanks, I'll have to pay it forward!) As we were about to leave Casey, Addison and Jake showed up, so we stayed a little longer.  The boys really liked the train ride and the hay tunnels. They enjoyed the corn maze as well.

Friday dinners

Since Casey, Carrie, Arielle and I have been friends since our first kids were just born we decided that just because our kids are in Kindergarten is no reason to stop seeing each other. Our kids are all best buddies and we always have a good time together, so it was decided that we will reserve the 1st Friday of every month to spend with each other rotating houses.
We had our first one at Arielle's house and it was so much fun. The kids loved playing together and we loved hanging out, chatting and catching up. The husbands get to be included too, which is really nice because they all get along really well too.

San Diego- Emmie and Molly's Christening

   Saturday morning I flew down to San Diego to meet up with Freddy and Annie and their two beautiful baby girls, Emmie Catherine and Molly Aline. It was the weekend of their baptism into the Catholic Church. By the time we grabbed Colby it was about lunch time, so we all headed to Encinitas for a nice lunch out at a yummy diner. The twins slept through all of lunch in their stroller. We headed back to the Grand house to prep the food for the next days celebration.
  The timing coincided with Colby's 26th birthday, so we got together with Mike, Lindsay, Kevin and Leah to go to a brewery to celebrate Colby's birthday in the evening. Annie was planning to come too, but the girls weren't really up for it. We spent the evening hanging out, drinking beer, eating pizza and talking. When we got back to the house we made some s'mores by the fire. I may have taken a little cat nap in between on the couch by accident.
  The next morning Freddy, Annie, Nancy, Chuck, and I went to Church with the girls. We headed back to their house and finished getting ready to go back to the church for the Christening. Almost our whole family and all of Annie's family showed up. (Heather, Kenny, and my family didn't come, but everyone else did). It was a very nice ceremony- Emmie was very squirmy and fussy. Molly was relaxed and didn't seem to mind. They were blessed and had holy oil rubbed on them. Joey and I were pronounced Emmie's Godparents and Allie and Colby were pronounced Molly's Godparents. After the ceremony and lots of photos we all headed back to Freddy and Annie's. We spent the afternoon admiring the babies, eating lasagna, and enjoying each others company. It was really nice hanging out with the family on such a positive occasion. After everyone went home we realized we were all hungry, but everyone had been drinking except for me, so I drove Colby and myself down to the Thai and pizza places so they could grab some food (I had leftover lasagna). We sat out by the fire and talked for a while before heading to bed.
Monday, we had a leisurely morning. I spent time with my nieces while Annie took a much needed nap. Colby joined me after a while and I made him some breakfast. After the girls had their 11:30am bottle we headed down to La Mesa after picking up some yummy sub sandwiches from a fresh deli where they slice the meat and cheese in front of you after you order it. We grabbed a sub for Grandma and Grandpa, one for the Whiteing family, and one for ourselves. We went to Grandma and Grandpa's house to eat our sandwiches, afterward I headed over to see Nicole and Doris. George passed away early Saturday morning. I had talked to him on the phone a few weeks before and promised to come and see him. Instead, I went to honor his memory and visit his loved ones. I loved George very much. As the father of my best friend in high school I spent many hours at their house talking to George. He was a good and loving man. I will miss him very much. I still called him on the phone and chatted with him every few months. I headed back over to see Grandma and Grandpa and meet back up with Annie, the girls and Colby. I got a text about how great it would be if I was inspired to bring frosties with me on my way back. I'm a sucker for frosties, so I of course said yes. We all enjoyed our frosties. A little while after it was time for us to head out so that we could beat the traffic. We said our goodbyes and Colby was picked up by Mike.
  Later that evening Freddy came home and Annie made us all tacos for dinner. She forgot to make rice (which was totally fine, but she was concerned that mommy brain was a real thing).We went to bed a little earlier that night.
  Tuesday after a leisurely morning spending quality time with the girls we headed down to Old Town with girls and met up with Grandma, Grandpa and Bob for lunch at delicious Mexican food restaurant. I think it was called cafe Reyes. After lunch the Gparents dropped me off at the airport. I had a nice cozy stay as my flight was delayed.
  Upon my return to San Jose my boys picked me up and whisked me off to Golden House Chinese food restaurant where we met up with the Lim family for dinner. Afterwards, we all headed to the school for Family Math night. The boys liked it, but it was pretty crowded. We stayed for about 30 minutes and 6 tables of math and headed home for bed and relaxation. What a great 4 days. I miss my nieces (and Annie and Freddy) already!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Big Basin camping

  It only took me 14 years, but I finally convinced Justin to go tent camping and ...He didn't hate it! In fact, he liked the tent part- it was easy to build and take down, and it was cool and clean inside. That was his highlight from the trip. We went with 5 other families with Oliven's Las Madres 2010 South Valley group organized by Kira. We were all in charge of our own food, but we chose to hang out with the Lim family during meals since they are good friends, had all the equipment to cook with, brought tons of extra food, and had a fire going.
  The boys had a blast with 4 campsites in a row to play on with tons of
friends. We went on a group hike and checked out the little museum as a group. Justin had a bit of a hard time with scheduling and not eating dinner at 5:30pm because we had just gotten back from our hike, but overall I think he can be convinced to go camping again, so I will consider the trip a success. The boys both love camping and have asked to go back again this weekend. :) The kids also had a dance party on a big stage and squished into a big redwood tree. Vander said that making s'mores and eating extra sweets was his favorite thing. Oliven liked listening to the crickets.

Charter School Gala

  The Charter School hosts a fundraising Gala every year and it's the
don't miss event of the season. This year the theme was Celebrate the Night in Black and White. Justin and I attended in our black and white best. Justin wore his Batman suspenders and I wore my Batgirl bracelet. The auction was really fun. There were about 220 items/events up for bid. The Charter School basically told us that they expected us to donate $1000 a year per kid, so we figured if we gave them $700 and spent $300 at the auction we would be there.
 I think it will be easier next year because we now have a heads up that this is coming instead of a letter asking for the money by the next week! There is nothing like being a kinder parent for being blind sided by what is going on in the school. We are learning as we go. Anyway, we won a couples dinner with a chef- 3 course meal and they teach you how to make it, a 10 person wonton making/learning afternooon with appetizers and drinks, and a gymnastics class with the kinder teachers for Vander and 15 kinder friends. The auction was beautiful and elegant. We had a great time with Carrie and Peng.