Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Unmake Toilets

Yes, we got down and dirty for the final Unmake class in this series as we took apart toilets. I love the look of concentration on Katherine's face as she feels out the inside of the toilet with her hand.

Other pictures are of the girls carefully passing an albino corn snake to each other, Gabriana showing me a magnifying class that she was using in conjuction with exploring pond water in a microscope (love the skeleton behind her!) and Gabriana and friend discussing which body parts should be inserted into the model human body. The conversation was both fun and very serious and even the little girls knew more about the human body from discussions and books we've read than I anticipated or realized.

Again, we are overwhelmingly enthused by the Mission Science Center and the cornocopia of wonderous things they have to explore. We tried some science experiments related to density when we got home; more fun!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hiking with Friends

We love to hike; at least, the girls and I do. (Charles, not so much.) Scenery, weather, and interesting things to learn about (plants, insects, other animals) make hiking fun, but enjoying each other's company is really the key to why hiking is part of the repertoire of things that make life wonderful for me.

This weekend, our hiking experience was enhanced with the presence of family friends, who surprised us with a last minute cancellation in their busy schedule... one that fortunately coincided with breathing room in ours. Combined, it made for a wonderful afternoon. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

San Francisco Symphony: "Music Here, There, and Everywhere"

Music Here, There, and Everywhere was the title of the performance, which was excellent. Our $5 ticket came with an informational workbook and a CD that explained the music for young (and not so young) listeners. Plus, the event was "open seating" and we were lucky to get seats right behind the orchestra. Awesome!

Monday, April 19, 2010


After Point Reyes, we went to visit Uncle Mike and Aunt Terry in Gualala, where we saw one whale calf from the shore and lots of catepillars to boot. Abuela and Grandpa were there too, adding to the fun.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Point Reyes Camping

We started the weekend with a ranger-led walk at Point Reyes (thanks, Ranger Doug for facilitating and Steve for arranging), followed by two nights of camping by the river and amongst the redwoods at Samuel P. Taylor State Park with four other families. The girls had a blast - what could be better than waking up outside and immediately getting to play with your friends? We did some hiking, wrote in invisible ink and did chemistry experiments (thanks to Justin), took a quick detour back to Mill Valley for a softball game we couldn't miss, then played and played and played some more. The forget-me-nots, apparently a non-indigenous flower, were out en masse and added a layer of loveliness to the site, despite their nature as imposters.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Unmake Toasters (and more)

These are photos from our third "unmakers" class. This time, the class took apart toasters to learn how they work. There was lots of other fun "wonder time" at the Mission Science center too, as the students held and observed reptiles, played musical instruments, and experimented with interesting things to check out under the microscopes. There isn't enough room to post all of the smiles that I caught with photos as they enthusiastically explored so many different things.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Visiting Las Vegas

We had a wonderful trip to Las Vegas and got to visit lots of cousins, see amazing desert wildflowers, enjoy lots of adventure and learning at the incredible Springs Preserve, and even visit "Aunta" Monica at the Bellagio.

(Gabriana is adding a little Italian-esque accent to Monica's title and we've all picked it up. Aunta Monica sounds so lyrical!)

Thanks to Savannah, Skyler, and Keith for meeting us at the Springs Preserve and to Monica, Dan, Spencer, and Hanna for the hospitality, coming with us to the preserve, the tour of the conservatory at the Bellagio, and all of the fun crafts at home. And for the use of your pool, which resulted in the "thumbs up" picture of Katherine, tough enough to jump into 56 degrees and very quickly swim to the edge. Her skin was freezing when I helped her out, but she was sure proud of herself!

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5!

What does the birthday girl want to do on her "real" birthday? Go to the park and ride her new skateboard... and maybe her rollerskates, too. OK! Gabriana participated with her scooter. Thanks, Aunt Susanne and Uncle Todd for joining us.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

During Lent, we had a "Garden of Love," made by Katherine. When either sister did something loving for the other one, they got a flower placed on the "garden." Lots of love recognized.

Easter morning began with a search for baskets, then an egg hunt in the yard. Each plastic egg had a bit of candy in it... and thanks to a friend's idea, the yellow ones were printed with the word, "Allelujia!" and the kids knew that when they found one, they were to shout, "Allelujia!" It isn't clear whether our non-Christian neighbors enjoyed this early-morning reminder of the holiday, but it was a great segue to getting dressed up and off to mass before having dinner at Abuela and Grandpa's house with Anna and other favorite friends.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear Katherine

Five years already... and yet, was there ever a time without you? I feel like you've lived in my heart for a very long time and now, watching you grow is like feeling my heart exposed all the time. I have insufficient words to express how much I love you. I want you to be happy always, and yet know that it is more important yet that you are a good person, one who loves God. I adore so much about you and hope that you always see yourself the way that God sees you - so lovely, sweet, silly, funny, smart, affectionate, thoughtful, beautiful and more....