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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Soccer and the Birthday Weekend...

This past week was a busy one with school starting, soccer revving up, getting ready for company, and Tyler's Birthday! Phew!

Saturday we headed off to the soccer field for Cody's seeding tournament, 3 short games to figure out where everyone stood so they can set the schedule.
Ready to go!

Hanging out on the sideline. Me desperately hoping he doesn't pick up on what the kids next to him are saying...

He's one of 4/5 on the team that have played soccer and he used his skills in the first game.

Mr Red Head was quite the player, he really made them work!

Hanging out with his buddies...

Talking strategy before the game...

All in all, it was a good day. They lost 3-1, tied 0-0 and won 2-1. More than anything it gave coach an idea of where to go with our next few practices before the season starts.

While we were at the soccer field, Gramma and Grampa Douglas took Ty to the Folsom zoo, train and a car show during the 2nd & 3rd games.

Riding the train...

Pretending to be bears...

Seeing cool cars...

Clutching his very important Jelly Belly bag...
Sunday was Tyler's 4th Birthday! Finally he's 4! (Now the question of, he's only 3? can stop!)

Birthday breakfast complete with dino and gummy worm. (we also had burritos)

There's the Birthday boy!

We held his party on the same day and luckily the weather came back around for our water bash. My dear friend lent us this awesome water slide for the day, What A Blast!

Snack break...

We went with robots this year, here's Ty's cake...

Getting ready to dig into the loot...
We finished the weekend with pizza and family. He had a wonderful weekend and day!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cody's First day of 1st Grade...

Cody is an official 1st grader! He was excited to get started, so much so he told me he didn't sleep much. So we were up early, ate some cinnamon rolls and were ready to go.

1st day photo...

"But what about me?"

We walked over today, and glad we did after checking out the traffic.

This is where we will find him all year!
When we came to school they were to go to their line spot, instead of getting to head straight to the room like I thought they might for the first day. So we found his line, put his bag down and he ran off to play for a bit before the bell rang.
I stayed and mulled about with the rest of the 1st grade parents, and a lot of the upper grades as well. Really I wanted to scope out and see who was in his class this year.
Once the bell rang, Miss S. came over and greeted them all individually and went through names again. Cody already knows her a bit as she was a 4th grade teacher last year and her class buddied up with his Kindy class.
Once they were re-introduced she led them to their bag hooks and into class.
I didn't actually go into his room but could watch through the window to see his desk. He saw me and held up his pencil box that was in his desk, then waved a big bye when she said it was time to start.

His day, as he told me on the way home:
They sat down at their desks and were asked to write the alphabet in lower case.
Then the music teacher came in for a bit. They did some songs by echoing what she said.
Next it was time for recess. He spent the whole time eating his snack.
He found out that they get to do PE on Wed mornings with Coach, that was exciting.
They worked on some kind of matching sheet that will be finished tomorrow.
Then they practiced lining up in order for lunch and using their lunch cards. (They are supposed to be in alphabetical order to go through the lunch line.) Miss S. keeps the cards and it tells the lunch staff who they are and if they have money in their account.
Once they finished practicing it was time for lunch.
He said he ate, then went out to play. Finally finding some old friends, they started playing Dinosaurs, like a brand new game!
After lunch they worked on writing sentences.
Lastly they were shown how the overhead projector works. (Way fancier than the grey light boxes we used)

He said he had a good day.

So one down, one to go....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

another busy week...

This past week was another busy one as we were winding down summer and getting ready for school to start.

Monday we headed off to Ikea so that Mommy could hopefully be inspired by their storage solutions and so the boys could play in Smaland. We're having a bit of pantry space issues, as well as wanting to find better solutions for the boys' clothes and expanding the office work spaces. Lots on the list!
Fortunately I did figure out what I think would work great for another pantry in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, it's a $300+ solution. Crud.
Other than that, I'm still unsure.

Mon and Thurs nights Keith and I finished up our ref course for soccer. We both, and our coach, scored a 91%, a three way tie for the best in the class. We were rewarded with a really cool commemorative coin from the local soccer tournament that can be used during the coin toss. Go us!

Tues we packed in a trip to the gym and a swim play date at a friends, and some sewing and some shirt painting. Phew!

Wed we hit the bike trail for a run/bike ride. Then went to the most awful doctors appointment I've ever been to. Later we hosted a short play date with friends for each of the boys.

Thurs morning kicked off the PTA school year with the stuffing of the folders. The school passes out nicely printed folders on the first day of school with the student handbooks and other information. Someone has to stuff them so the PTA steps in and cover the job. The boys had fun playing on the play ground with some older friends.
Later that evening, the boys headed back to the school for a welcome back BBQ while we were at our course. Reports came back the it was a cluster and needed much improvement, feeling really bad for send our friend with four kids alone!

Fri the boys and I headed over the park to work on some of Cody's soccer skills. Trying to find his inner aggressive kid is the goal for the season, he's a bit timid at the moment.

That evening was the annual Niello dinner. This year they went family style and treated us to a River Cats baseball game and BBQ.
They had really cool shirts for the kids...

Then they opened up the kids corner for just the Niello group for an hour. They had a blast...

Then we headed back and ate a bit of food. The boys had fun playing with new and old friends while we waited for the game to start.

We had a whole section to ourselves, so we found some friends and took our seats.

We only stayed about 4 innings, but did get to witness a home run by the home team!

We also got to see the between inning fun with the mascots.
Sat was spent doing the normal shopping routine once Keith was home from riding his bike to work. We had left the Van there the night before and it was a good excuse to find out how long that really took. In the evening we headed over to another friends Birthday party for some wonderful food and pool fun.

Today started with a run, then some finishing of school things, followed by lunch with Keith's family, first time in about a month since every one's finally home.

Monday marks the beginning of the school year, and Cody is so excited! More to come on that soon....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Camping in the Redwoods...

After our adventure at Six Flags, we headed north to go camping for a few days. It took us about 5 hours from home, but it was well worth the drive! This trip was to the Humboldt Redwoods State Park to the Burlington campground. The best part of driving up was the closer we were to the the campground, the cooler it became!
This is the view from our campsite...

Setting up camp...

Being in the redwoods meant there were many trees in our campsite to play around, including a stump to play in.

We were able to have campfires the nights we were there, a favorite time...

Stumps also make great climbing structures...

This campground is located right next to the visitors center for the state park and it's a very active center during the peak months. The first morning we were there we went on a 45 min guided walk where she talked about the trees being the ultimate survivors when it came to dealing with the elements. We learned a lot and the boys had a good time as well.

Then we headed out on our own walk and found the river. Something about the river and rocks, they must be thrown in!

It was cool to see all the wild blackberry bushes everywhere...

Getting to walk into the trees was quite a cool thing, this one had been hollowed out by fire, but still stands tall.

After some lunch we decided to hit the tourist stops before the weekend crowds came in.

First we went and drove through a tree...

They also had some neat play houses you could explore...

Then we drove to a place that we thought had fun information about Big Foot, but it turned out that it was just the name of the store. They did have some beautifully carved redwood pieces, including this playhouse...

Then we went to confusion hill and become more confused as to why we were there. They had an excursion train that took you into the trees, but the almost $30 for all of us to ride was a bit steep. They had this cool shoe house, from the old nursery rhyme.

We headed back toward camp and stopped at the One-Log House...

The kitchen...

There were two skinny twin beds in the middle section, then the living room in the back.
They were so excited!

This is the grandfather tree...

Next we headed to the Founder's Grove to walk the 1/2 mile trail. This is a great place to see some of the really large trees. It hasn't been logged like some of the other places we had been.

There are also a bunch of fallen trees in the founder's grove, just as interesting and amazing as seeing the ones that are standing.

Then we headed over to the Eternal Tree House built in the stump of a cut tree. All the trees surrounding it are growing out of the cut stump.

We saw a lot of beautiful carvings, but this bench was a favorite.

That evening we went to the visitor's center for a campfire and listened to a talk about the birds in the area. It was also a lot of fun and interesting. Keith and Cody participated up front a couple of times as she needed helpers to demonstrate things or to get a laugh.

We had a bit of a rough night with Cody getting sick, but in the morning he was fine. Our sleeping bags, however, were not. So we had to cut our camping trip short by a day.

We did still make it to the beach as planned, and promised, making for a late night home, but totally worth the time.

We finally found a beach and at the entrance of the park they had this skeleton of a humpback whale.

So we had a quick bite in the van then walked across to the beach.

They couldn't wait to play, SO Excited!

After getting beaten about by the water for a bit we packed back into the car to search out Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. Back in the 50-60's this was a public dump, finally in 67' the realized this wasn't the best of places to dump all the trash and cleaned it up the best they could. But as things go, they couldn't clean it all up, especially all the broken bottles and such. They say it's a favorite place for divers because of all the treasures out in the water, including several cars.

So with the decades that have past since they quit dumping, the glass that was left has been washed over with the sand and water to the point that it's smooth and beautiful. At first glance it looks like small pebbles, but as you get close and look around, it's actually pieces of glass.
You can see the shiny pieces here...

There are also things embedded in the rocks, we thought at first these were spark plugs, but can't be sure.

It's a rocky beach that has lots of pools, we found this guy hanging out as well.

Shells on the rock walls...

The ocean, oh how we will miss you!

From the beach, we were about 4 hours from home. Around hour 2, Keith started to feel crumby and finally had to let me drive the last hour or so. After a good sleep and some rest the next day he was feeling better, and luckily Ty and I came out okay!

So now we sit today, after breezing through another week, with one week before schools starts.