Saturday, August 30, 2008

Walking School Bus & the 50-mile Bike Ride

On Friday morning, the elementary school organized several "walking school buses". There were 4 or 5 different routes, and various stops along the way to school. This was a fun way to get most of the students to walk to school. They did it last year and it was a huge success. T wanted to go with his brothers to the "bus stop". He would have followed them to school if I didn't tug on his bike! He wasn't too happy about that.
Okay, I know I'm a little paranoid about too much personal information here. But YOU have some weirdo stalk you for several years and I think you will see some things differently, too.
B & J joined up with the crowd. It was cool to see just how many people walked to school! It was huge!! I would say that close to 90% of the school walked.

Then ....

This morning, very reluctantly, N left for the final bike ride for the bicycling merit badge; a 50 miler! He was very nervous, and I actually didn't blame him.
Here he leaves to meet the troop @ the Scoutmaster's home a few blocks away. G rode down with him. They had to be there by 7am. They had a pizza lunch at the half-way point. He made it home by 3pm. He said that the very end was really hard because he was so tired. N and I took a dip in the pool soon after he got home. We're so proud of him for finishing this difficult merit badge. He didn't quit, even though he struggled a little. He will certainly wear this merit badge as a 'badge of honor'!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pack Meeting

B, with his small den, talked about a recent service project along with what it means to be a good citizen. He did most of the talking and did really well. He was very confident.
The theme for Pack Meeting was Camping. The Cubmaster talked to the boys about the "Outdoor Code". They roasted marshmallows on a BBQ and made smores. It was a great idea except for the fact that it was blazin' hot outside!!
The boys got to run an obstacle course, too. At the end, they got squirted with a hose. J got drenched. Good thing I keep an extra towel in my van. Came in very handy.

B earned 4 cubscout belt loops: BB shooting, Archery, Art, and Maps & Compass. He also earned 5 Webelos pins: Aquanaut, Citizen, Family Member, Traveler and Readyman. He's been very busy and has been working really hard.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Soccer Practice

It's HOT!!

Soccer practices are in full swing. They started the same week as school did! J has been enjoying seeing his teammates again. This will be the 3rd year that he's on the same team with the same great coach, and 2 assistant coaches. Out of the 13 players, only 3 are new, and J already knew 2 of the them. J has been practicing hard and enjoying every minute of it despite the heat. His team has a great place to practice because they do get a little bit of shade. At water breaks, J pours water in his hat and then puts it on as he lets out a huge sigh. I'm the "Team Mom" again this year. Just trying to finish putting together the team roster and picture directory. I've had just a FEW things on my plate .... Games begin on September 6th. The boys are very excited.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


T was so happy to get his preschool bucket out again! We added some lizard stickers to it last night. He wanted me to pack his lunch last night, too.

T with a new friend and Garrett right before school started this morning. The kids were so excited to see each other again.

Here are T's two awesome preschool teachers, Miss Christi & Miss Jenn. They run a fabulous program, and the kids thrive there. I've always been impressed with what they accomplish during the day. Not only do they have fun playing, they focus on many fundamentals. Today they brought home a big paper with their initial (which they got to paint in), their name spelled out with letters on beans, foam letters spelling their name, and dotted lines spelling their name (which they traced). We now need to make more room on T's wall for his artwork. He will be attending this preschool MWF 9-12. Worth every penny!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

T FINALLY Starts School

T with his pal, G, on their first day at a speech class with Miss Erin. He was happy to see his teacher again! These two little boys love spending time together, and it's a good thing! They will be in school together 4 days a week. They used to be in Sunbeams together on Sundays, however, we had to split the class because the class was getting too big. Anyway, my friend and I plan on carpooling to speech class to make our lives easier. Thanks, Raimi!
T finally started school today. Thank goodness!!!! He's been so anxious to start. He asked about Miss Erin so many times yesterday that: (a) I lost count, and (b), my head was about to explode from having the SAME conversation over and over again. So with much anticipation, he started his speech class today. There are just 3 boys in this hour-long class, which intensely focuses on phonology and grammar. His speech has continually been improving. He was so excited about receiving a 'Homework' folder of his own. I still haven't been able to read any of the information in the folder yet. T won't give it up! He's already stuffed it into a big Ziploc bag with his other belongings. I have a feeling that I'll be replacing this folder sooner than later.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Time with Family

Me with my sister, L, working in the kitchen preparing our family dinner
N with Dad!
N with his cousin, M
Boppi with A, his oldest grandchild

We spent the day at my sister's home. My brother and his family came, too. We enjoyed a great dinner and lots of time visiting. These cousins got to make their Arabian Christmas ornaments with Grandma & Boppi. It was just fun being together.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fun in the Sun

Cousins making silly faces
Hamma & T
Uncle T rocketed B for a flippin' good time
J enjoying the pool!

Many of my family members met up for swimming and a yummy BBQ today. We had the pool to ourselves and this wonderful BBQ area, too. We swam and swam and swam. We had a lot of fun hanging out today. Thanks for the use of your pool Dave & Tami!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Random Pictures of the Boys

I was just playing around with some of the settings on my camera yesterday and came out with some fun shots of the boys. I need to retake some of N because they didn't turn out the way I would have liked. Just wanted to share ...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Arabian Ornaments

Here, we're getting started. Hamma is getting ready to tie some red bows.
T is patiently waiting for his items along with instructions.
J is making progress with his ornament

Here is the finished ornament we made. They are gawa cups, used for very strong coffee (or so I hear!). They come in all sorts of designs. We made them into bells, and it will go on our Christmas tree this year. I wrote every one's names along with '2008' on the inside of the cup. Now T thinks Christmas is tomorrow! I told him to call Hamma to talk about it every time he asks!!! He wanted us to get out our tree and all of the decorations.

Nutella Boy

J asked me this morning if he could make a Nutella sandwich for breakfast! I think he was trying to find a way to get even more Nutella. He usually has 1 piece of toast smeared with it. Every square centimeter is completely slathered. Grandma Marie brought a special Nutella knife for the family, although J has claimed it lovingly for himself. It's fun to watch him eat Nutella because he enjoys every last lick. I always get a kick out of his Nutella smile.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Busy Day

Yesterday, T went over to his preschool for an orientation. He was SO excited to see his teachers and his friends. He went straight out back to the big play toys. Later he came in for a craft. He starts class in 1 week. We are BOTH so ready for preschool to start!

Later, my mom and I dragged T through Walmart. We were looking at stuff and then I realized I couldn't see T anymore. When I looked closer, I saw THIS! He was right behind me. He was flat on the floor, in the middle of a busy aisle, relaxing. He was tired! He figured that this shopping might take a while ... smart kid. We were looking at fabric.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hangin' out with Boppi

This morning, T and my dad, Boppi, palled around out front. T rode his bike for a while as Boppi helped around the yard. We are so glad that Boppi and Hamma are visiting. We don't get to seem them as much as we'd like ... so we're so glad that they are here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Shopping Buddy

T has been dragging around his backpack the past couple of days. He's VERY ready for school to start. Today, he insisted on bringing his lunch bag, too. Here he is getting ready to go into Target with me this morning. Yes, there were a few snickers from on-lookers. It made me giggle, too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another Recipe -- Sweet Pork

Okay, so I've seen a few of these sweet pork recipes floating around on the Internet. I really like the sweet pork from the restaurant Costa Vida. I made this recipe the other day and it turned out awesome! It was VERY easy, too. A bonus in my book.

Sweet Pork
4 lb. pork roast (I used a rump)

2 cups brown sugar
1 (12-14 oz.) jar salsa
2 cans Coke (24 oz. or 2 1/2 cups)

Place roast in crock pot, fill half way with water and cook on high for 6-8 hours. Discard water. Shred meat and return to the Crock pot. Combine sugar, salsa, & coke in a separate bowl. Add mixture to the meat in the Crock pot. Cook an additional 3 hours. Stir occasionally. (Similar to Costa Vida’s recipe) [*I actually just mixed the sugar, salsa & coke right into the crock pot and THEN added the shredded meat instead of using another bowl. Less to wash!]

We built our own burritos using the sweet pork. I made up some white rice too. The juices from the sweet pork flavored the rice right inside the burrito. Everyone (yes, we still have company here) then added what trimmings they wanted. Everything was a hit.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Guess Who Else is Anxious for School to Start?

T loaded up his backpack with his lunch bag containing a small snack, and wore it around the house for a while. He then fell asleep in the late afternoon with it on his back! He is SO ready for preschool to start. He misses his teachers and friends, and he really missed his brothers yesterday.

Monday, August 11, 2008

First Day Back to School ... Already!

Our 7th Grader!!
J is holding the flower that he gave his teacher for the 1st Day Bouquet
B is ready to go. You can see his teacher's flower hanging out of the very back of his backpack.
B is one of the crossing guards this year. He was working the cross-walk that I used to meet the boys over at the school. B had to be there a little earlier. J rode his bike and met me over at his classroom, too.
Here's J at his desk. He was excited about his pencil box! He's starting 2nd grade.
Here's B in his classroom. I cannot believe that he's now in 5th grade!

Okay, N and I RAN out of the house this morning to catch the bus up the street. We waited ... and waited ... and waited for 30 minutes. No bus! Parents were scrambling to get their cars to run their kids to school. N hitched a ride with his friend. I was SO grateful for that. I called the transportation office over at the district offices to find out what happened. The bus driver (not the usual bus driver) missed our stop. Great! I wanted assurance that N would have a ride home from school. She said it won't happen tomorrow, that they've talked to the driver. Ummm ... better not! I know that a lot of kinks have to be worked out with the new middle school.

So, now it's time to fill out the emergency cards in duplicate (I already did N's). T kept asking where his brothers were most of the day. He got to go to Sam's & Walmart with me -- how exciting, eh? I made it worth his while. He got a huge Icee.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Fam is Here!

We took this picture to commemorate 08-08-08. The kids are holding signs with the date on it. Nadine's family has done this for the past several years on similar dates, i.e. 2-2-02, 3-3-03 etc. Glad we could be in their special picture this year! Since N was at "Sons of Liberty" camp, L is holding a photo of N so he could technically be in our family picture.
We took the family over to Denio's this morning. We found lots of deals. Here, T rests on the handle of our bag. He was done as soon as we found him a Chevron car. After we bought some fruit, we headed home. Nadine and some of her family kept shopping for a while longer. She was in 'garage sale' heaven!
Later, we took everyone over to the Foresthill bridge. It's THE tallest bridge in California. We walked over it, drove over it, and then drove below it. It doesn't seem as high until you see people below the size of ants!

Next, is pizza ... then a movie projected on our wall. The kids are having a blast! I'm so glad they came for a visit.