Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Multi-School Campuses are Brilliant

This year, having four kids in 3 different schools, I have discovered the pure brilliance of school campuses.  The high school, middle school, and elementary school are all located on the same property/campus.  I cannot even tell you the number of times it has come in useful, but to name a few:

(1) Alex has to stay late for drama til 5:15, I have parent conferences at the elementary starting at 5.  Alex can just walk over and meet me at conferences.

(2) Jarem and Tessa have pinwheels for peace at 2, Jesikah needs to be picked up at 2:20.  It worked perfect.

(3) Arts in the School open house at the elementary 5-7, Alex has a choir concert at the high school at 6:30.  Again, worked perfect.

(4) Last week, Eric was supposed to pick up Alex at the high school, then take Tessa to soccer practice while I was at the elementary selling t-shirts for PTO.  Alex got out of practice late and Eric couldn't wait since he was helping coach Tessa's team.  I was able to walk over to the high school and get Alex in my break.

(4) And tonight, soccer practice at the elementary at 5:15, Alex has to stay late for play practice.  He will walk over to the elementary after play practice.

These are just a few examples.  In addition, we are very fortunate to have this campus only 5 minutes from home.  Time saved, gas money saved, stress relieved (from figuring out how to be at 2 places at the same time), and convenience are just a few of the many perks.  School campuses: it's a beautiful thing!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pinwheels for Peace

As you may know, today is International Peace Day. The elementary school celebrated again this year by making and planting pinwheels and having a little ceremony. It was nice, but hot! It was 97 degrees when I pulled up to watch. I felt bad that both of my kids were wearing long and dark pants.  We have had some cooler fall days, but it has gotten hot again the past few.

Jarem with his pinwheel

Jarem with his class and pinwheel, he was right in front

This is the Kindergarten and First Grade area.  There was a good breeze to keep their pinwheels spinning.

Tessa and her pinwheel

Tessa and her friend with their pinwheels

The 4th grade area

Jarem planting his pinwheel

Jarem doing the signs for the song they sang...he loves music.  He told me this week that he can't wait until Thursday because that is music.

Tessa doing the signs

Singing and doing signs

Tessa planting hers

Jarem waving bye heading back inside for another couple of hours.  He was the caboose.  In their class they have a line leader and a caboose.  The caboose and line leader are a special privilege. :)

Our First Soccer Game

We already got our team pictures back...impressive!  Anyway, our first game was Saturday, Sept 18 and the game went well.  All 8 of our players were there.  At this age group, they play on 2 fields right next to each other 3 on 3.  Our team was much better than the other one on both fields, so we won by a landslide on both sides.  It was something like 13-0 on one, and 12-1 on the other.  Of course, we don't keep score, but it was amazing!  :)  Alex asked me later if they did so well because I had taught them all that?  Of course I had to make him believe I had taught them all that,(it's rare that I get a chance to impress him) but, in reality, we had only had one 30-minute practice and even at that, I noticed some things at the game that we had practiced wrong. (Don't tell Alex though. :) Most of them have played before.  They all went home happy, and Jarem was able to score about 3-4 goals.  He was very excited.  It was a lot of fun. 

In other soccer news, Tessa won her game 2-1.  Her game was at the exact same time as Jarem's game.  It turned out to be very lucky that their fields are right next to each other, so I could take a look at her from time to time.  Then, after Jarem's game was finished, I got to watch most of the 3rd and 4th quarters.

Alex also started the 14+ league which also includes adults.  He wanted to get conditioned for trying out for soccer in the spring.  He was nervous about playing with all those people who are really good, but he ended up having a great time.  He said the adults were very friendly to everyone and didn't play favorites.  If he was open, they would pass to him, and he loved that because he was open a lot.  He said it was going to be a good learning experience for him.  They shared some tips with him which he said he appreciated and that helped him.  He felt good about how he played.

I'll add some pictures of Alex and Tessa next time. I will probably get Tessa's team pictures at practice this week.  It was a hot day.  We all came home sweaty.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Coaching Soccer

After taking a year off, it was time.  I signed up Jarem, Tessa, and Alex for fall recreational soccer .  Alex is in the teenager/adult league now, so it should be more low-key.  He wants to get conditioned to try out for spring soccer at his high school.  Jesikah wanted to try tennis this time around.  Tessa just likes soccer.  As for Jarem, this will be his first time doing a sport and he really wanted to try soccer after watching the other kids so much other years.

In the process of getting everyone registered, I spoke with the U6 coordinator and she begged and pleaded for me/us to coach.  She said they were SO short on coaches and it was going to make bigger teams and inconvenience for a lot of people if she wasn't able to find more coaches.  I assured her that I wasn't coaching material.  However, I agreed to ask my husband (who is good at sports) if he would be willing to do it.  After a somewhat heated conversation with Eric, he expressed that he just didn't think he could handle anymore right now.  He's been a little overwhelmed lately with his work responsibilities and his new bishopric calling.  When I let her know that Eric wouldn't be able to do it, she pleaded MORE for me to do it. I told her I didn't know anything about sports and that I had never played soccer before.  She insisted that, "You don't have to know ANYTHING or have any skills...just be willing".  Because I felt sorry for her AND I would like the convenience of picking the day and the time for practice, I at last conceded.  Never did I think I would be coaching sports (not even for 5 year olds)!  Even Alex laughed at me when he found out.

 Last night we had our first practice.  I was nervous, but it went quite well and it wasn't even hard.  I think my years teaching Kindergarten really helped me in this.  Eight kids didn't seem like hardly anything to handle after having 24 in Kindergarten at one time.  Besides, we were learning something outside that they enjoyed with their parents closeby.  I think it will be kind of fun as long as I get the rules down.  When Alex laughed and told me I was crazy, I said, "What's worse: never trying something because you are afraid of failure OR trying something you are uncomfortable with and then maybe gaining a new skill in the process?"  He didn't say much after that.  Regardless, wish me luck!  Our first game is on Saturday and that might be a whole new bag of worms.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Final San Francisco Post

On our way back to the hotel from the ferry, we decided to take one last walk through Chinatown.  When we went with Susan and Scott the first time, I had wanted to get pictures, but I forgot my camera.  This was my last chance.

The gates of Chinatown

Looking down the street from the gates

A cool view of the Transamerica building from Chinatown

After we walked through Chinatown, we headed back to the hotel to rest for a few minutes and get dressed for Wicked.

We felt pretty lucky that we just happened to be in San Francisco during the 6 or 8 weeks that it was playing there.  It was wonderful, and it was fun to compare the differences from the one in New York.

Ready for Wicked

This is the kid's Aunt Jessica the day after we arrived home.  She is the one who stayed with the kids while we were away.  I think she was a little worn out after babysitting for almost a week and being 3 months pregnant.  Eric's brother, Kyle, stayed with them also for the weekend.  She did an amazing job, and we felt very comfortable leaving them with her.  We can't express how much we appreciate her doing this so that we could take this vacation!  The kids felt so comfortable with her that even Jarem didn't miss me very much.:(  We were happy to see them all when we got back home and I received extra love from Jarem for the next few days! 

More Sausalito

Here are some more pictures of our ferry ride and day in Sausalito:

The ferry boat

Just taking off

The next several pictures are of the Golden Gate Bridge which is red, but you really can't tell in the pictures.

Eric got some beautiful pictures of a sailboat with the bridge in the distance

The next few photos are Sausalito as we were coming into port:

This was Sausalito just as we arrived

Eric next to the Sausalito sign.  It was much greener there and a very pretty area.  There were lots of little shops and walkways.  It reminded me of when we went to Catalina Island.

We enjoyed a late lunch/ early dinner here.  This restaurant is out on the bay, and it has windows all the way around.  It was an amazing view and good seafood too.

This was part of our view from our seats in the Spinnaker

Another pic from the Spinnaker

A Spanish style hotel in was neat with outdoor terraces

We shopped at this local shop and bought some darling art for the girls' rooms that just fit their personalities.  It was fun in there.  It's a local artist who owns the shop.  Shortly after, we found another famous ice cream shop.  I got white chocolate/macadamia nut ice cream in a waffle cone (I've never tried that one before).  It was good.
The ocean view from the shops across the street and also SF in the distance

Another angle

Coming back on the ferry.  It's funny how the water looks greener on the way back.

More pictures of SF on the way back

And some last pictures of the bay bridge: