Friday, December 14, 2007

Breakfast with Santa

Uncle Joey? Maybe, if he were 5" even. That's the beauty of this Santa! No passing HIM off as the real deal! :) The boys, of course, were fine with the picture taking, but Starks liked him from a distance. I don't blame him. It was REALLY chilly, and we got there just as it started. First, we made some crafts (Starks' favorite was the necklace made from fruit loops.). Anthony made an elf, and Starks made a stocking. Chas wasn't interested in anything they offered. Then, we finally had soem sausage, pancakes and hash browns before heading out to meet Teresa and the kids for some Starbucks and a trip to the Great Mall! The two of us shopped- again- with 6 kids! I think we each hit two stores and then ate some lunch. It was three hours, but the kids again did a great job. It was more about them anyway, and they really hung in there. We got back just in time to do some relaxing before our big dinner! Russ and I met up with 5 other couples- our friends- for dinner at La Fondue in Saratoga. More to follow on that when I get pictures back. :) Right now, we are gearing up for Christmas! This next week, I'll be in each classroom helping out with a number of things, and we have two assemblies or programs. :) We'll make sure we have pictures for you. All of our packages are mailed out to family, and now we just are winding down for our own fun! I can't wait!!!!
Does Chas look like James Dean, or what?!
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Grandma Anderson's Visit

My Momma came out to visit the end of Nov- Dec 3rd. It was an AWESOME time in which she fully experienced the craziness of my days and fun of my life! She was in my class for Bible Study and played with the kids. She joined us women for our Friday Morning Starbucks gathering with 2year olds. We saw the Christmas lights in Vasona Park. She walked all day with us in Los Gatos for Anthony's parade debut in Mrs. Hoge's "The Elves' Day after Christmas" in which they won 1st place! (There were like 200+ entries in that parade.) She went to church with us and to Anthony's Football tournament where his team won their first game of the season, and Anthony got his first trophy ever! In between the big things were lots of little errands, fun times, games, hide-n-seek, tag, and talking. It was SUCH a nice visit, and we loved every minute! Momma is so much fun, the kids had a blast! (BTW, the second picture is blurry, but it showcases Chas' Scooby Doo socks... that boy is crazy.)
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Thanksgiving Day 2007

Just 2 more pictures from Thanksgiving!
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Thanksgiving Day 2007

The morning began with a Cheese Grits, Sausage and Egg casserole for breakfast and the Macy's Day Parade. It was a gorgeous day outside, and the last thing I wanted was to be in the kitchen baking/cooking dinner, but I never mentioned a word. Chas was asking to go swimming somewhere, and then Daddy suggested Monterey Bay! We jumped onboard, showered, dressed, packed a lunch and headed down. We played at thd Dennis the Menace park for almost 3 hours! As you can see, they have a real locomotive parked on tracks in the sand on which the kids climb and play. What you don't see is the massive park with several play areas, tunnels through dunes, slides in the ground, and just LOTS of really cool stuff! After eating and playing, we headed to Lover's Point to play in the water. We were there just under an hour, but it was more than enough for the kids. :) We left, ate dinner at Hometown Buffet (don't ever go there), and then headed to the movie theater! We ate popcorn, drank soda and watched "Mr Magoriums Magic Emporium." It's a GREAT movie if you're 3-7 or 8 years old. The boys liked it. We left there and got home just in time for bed! It was an awesome Thanksgiving!!

The rest of the weekend included playing at the park on Black Friday for over two hours in the morning with our friends, Teresa and I heading to Target with 6 kids to shop, and then meeting our husbands after their bike ride for lunch! :)
Saturday, we headed to Wilder Ranch Park to hike along to the ocean cliffs and then head inland to the ranch to play and feed the horses. It doesn't get much better than that! :)
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Chas' Thanksgiving Feast

This was the seating for Chas' Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast. All five K classes gathered dressed as either pilgrims or Indians. Some of us parents help set up the room and served on each plate the following: turkey, grapes, pumpkin pie, a muffin, craisins, raisins, and popcorn. They also had a juice bag/box to drink. Each class sat down and listened to Chas' teacher sing a song (It was TOTALLY a prayer!) about blessings from God. You can see them here counting the blessings on their fingers as they sang! I was almost moved to tears. Had it not been so cute and surprising, I probably could've! Chas had a lot of fun, and you could tell that the kids thoroughly enjoyed their special meal and time together. I loved being a part of it and seeing it happen. I gave special Thanks to God for being home and available for these blessings!
I had also been able to go on their field trip to the Deer Hollow Farm. There, we hiked in to the ranch and learned, pet and saw sheep, goats (one even being milked), chickens, pigs, rabbits, and got to taste a carrot pulled from the ground right there from their garden! It was a chilly day, but the kids had SO much fun! The bus ride was enough enjoyment for many of them, so to add animals to that, it was a very SPECIAL day!
This was a pumpkin that Starks painted in class at Leaders one day. He LOVES to paint, is very proud of every piece of art, and loves to carry them around. This once was tied with green yarn, but it somehow was opened one day spilling out the styrofoam popcorn inside. Thus, we took a picture to save and threw the pumpkin away! :)
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November 2007

So, November began with some cooler weather, but we were still wearing shorts. This was the first night that it was comfortable having the fireplace on and snuggling on the couch to watch a show. :) Chas, Mommy, Starks and Anthony nestled down and toasty. The month was full of teacher conferences, days off, field trips and Thanksgiving fun, of course! We headed to the SF Zoo with friends on a day off from school. There were five families together (two had 2 kids and the other 4 have 3), and we had SO much fun!
Chas wasn't interested in having his picture taken this day, so I'm putting ones of Starks and Anthony with his friends Peter and Zachary in front of the Grizzly Gulch! The Grizzly Bear came into the water right up to the glass! Anthony had been learning about bears in school and was most excited!

In teacher conferences, very nice things were said of the boys. Chas is an angel in kindergarten (what the?), a little peace keeper and police officer, and he's very smart- just like we knew. :) He's reading at a beginning to middle 3rd grade level, listens well and works independently. Anthony is accelerated in math and reading (I think most of his books are middle-end 4th grade.), and he, too, works well independently. His teacher has all of the immature kids in 2nd grade, and I have to think that's why he's there. His teacher wrote "Anthony is the perfect student' on his evaluation, and she only noted he needs to work on being more social. She and I agree that he's perfectly happy being on the outside, watching or even playing alone, but she said she'll try to get him involved in group activities during recess. Anthony has enjoyed being chased by the girls lately- stating "It was the best recess I've ever had!" And so it begins... :) Starks didn't have a conference, but if he did, it would go like this:
Starks is doing very well in 6th grade and misses his brothers in elementary school. He's the top scorer on the football field, and he's looking forward to playing forward in basketball this winter. He seems to be healing well after his skateboarding accident, and it hasn't interfered with his ability to participate and lead his teams in gym. He seems to be adapting well with the kids in class regardless of his being only 2.5 years old. The only thing I would suggest is to add some calories to his food- maybe give him double portions of dessert since he expends so much energy every day. He is very well behaved and listens to instructions better than most children in class. He should be ready for high school in a year or two.

That's Starks! He's such an awesome 2 year old, and I think he's a 25 year old stuck in a 2 year old body. He's just an old soul.... :)
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