Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Worst Combination of Kids at Costco... AJ. Or so Tracy quipped at lunch today. We about split a gut, and it reminded us of the pics we took one day at Costco with the aforementioned child. (This picture was taken last December.)

Music Stand = Belt It Out

The next thing we knew... AJ walked up to the music stand (American Girl size) sitting on the coffee table and started belting out "Jesus Loves Me"! Don't you start belting out songs whenever you see a music stand!?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

American Girl "Gymnapstics"

Serafina is very excited about her new American Girl gymnastics equipment. She says, "First day of gymnapstics (sic) for McKenna. Do you wanna go?!" Coach Serafina lends a hand. Serafina's now got McKenna off doing balance beam and floor exercises...

Back to School

Look out schools, here they come!

The Complete Back-to-School Photo

Up 'til now you've only seen the version with the twins cropped out. Here's the whole picture, and nothing but the picture...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Business and Pleasure

Santa Maria Valley Railroad Business Special to Seattle
August 9-14, 2012

Sometimes it all comes together. Like when you realize you've made your fun stuff be also your business stuff. We got a chance to do some business, plan some strategies, think long term; and play tourist a little, too! We even pulled our technical wizardry together enough for Rob to "run the railroad remotely".

Once you go private railcar, you'll never go back (or want to go back). OK, I'll go back as often as I can, but still. Private railcar is a first class experience from back in the days when first class really meant something. I don't mean 3-piece suits, though there was a tie now and then. And we interacted more like family and friends than business associates. Or maybe that's the best kind of business associates - family and friends. It was also that we were totally spoiled with fabulous meals, made up beds, "cruise directors", and drink servers who also became friends as the trip unfolded.

And Papa Bill got to join in on this one, too. You remember Papa Bill, a Compound Living great granddad who gets to be out here a couple months each year (from Kansas). He's been a train lover all his life, enjoying all scales from HO to garden to 12 inches to the foot. Riding, running, or modeling.

Lynn was all set to come along, too, until we realized that she had to be back at school the day before we left. Bummer. We'll schedule that better next time.

There are 6 web pages of photos:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

by Nana

At age 4, Matteo is at the age of absolutes and his take on the world cracks us up daily. For instance...

1. Robob encounters Matteo out in the garden busily stirring a concoction of water and “stuff” you can only imagine. When he asked Matteo what he was doing, he seriously replied, “Making dirt.” Thank goodness. I was worrying that at the rate the boys were bringing dirt into the house we would soon run out of it in the garden.

2. Today after his bath, Matteo was struggling to put a dry shirt on his wet body.  I suggested it might help to dry off first.  Matteo informed me that God has given him “special” skin that stays dry in the water so he doesn’t drown and die.  It also magically dries when he gets out of the water so he doesn’t need a towel.  Thanks, God.

3. AJ is at a stage where everything in the world is “scary.” Some fears are understandable. Nono (his “other” grandpa) turns on an electric drill and AJ runs for cover in the nearest closet.  But other things like the airplanes flying overhead are also “scary.”  So the daily mantra from AJ as he explores his world is “It’s scary,” and we respond sometimes with an explanation of what “it” is and negating or justifying the fear. Other times we just respond with “no, it’s okay.”  However we respond, AJ will end the conversations with “it’s okay,” and go on with his day – the “scary” factor is now okay.  Too bad we can’t all let go of the “scaries” we encounter daily with the same grace and ease of a two-year-old.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chopsticks, You Say?

This was David's and Jonathan's first trip to Raku, a favorite Japanese restaurant in Grover Beach. They found chopsticks intriguing...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hold On!

The big activity at a birthday party that Serafina attended today was riding a "quad". When I dropped her off, the Mom asked me if it was OK if Serafina rode a quad during the event. Thinking she'd be behind some adult driving, I said sure. When I came to pick her up, this is what I found. The girls were running the new quad around by themselves. Serafina's eyes were about the size of saucers as she mounted up, but she did manage to "pulse" her way around the back yard. A little burst, then near stop, another little burst (of courage, mostly), then stop... repeat.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Down Where It's Wetter, Under the Sea...

Serafina's drama camp culminated in a performance of "The Little Mermaid, Jr.", a 1-hour abridged version of the full-length Disney show. What a hoot! Serafina has been talking about little else for the last two weeks. "And I've got to run in and out in between everyone without crashing into anyone!" "And we have to do make-up!" I guess that's your job when you're a fish...


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Otter Pop !!!!!!!!!!!!

Tracy caught it on film... AJ desperate to get the new fridge door open. He couldn't do it the traditional way (feet on the floor), so he dreamed up this approach, including all the requisite grunting and groaning to go with it. Try as he might, though... No Otter Pop.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Papas Are Allowed

Papas are always allowed to spoil grandkids at Cool Cat Cafe on the way home from drama camp. Next up is gymnastics, so the calories will be well used. Too bad Papa won't get all his calories processed so readily.