Sunday, November 24, 2013

Halloween 2013!

We had our annual Halloween party this year for our neighbors and friends.

I think one of my favorite things about this year was--with help of my mother-in-law, 
making costumes for the kids--dressing them up like Josephine and Napoleon!  

That is a thrift store, navy blue hooded sweatshirt that Luca is wearing...that I was
able to transform, fairly easily, into French military regalia!

And my mother-in-law made "Josephine's" dress and shrug that wrapped around and tied in the back.

Magda and I made her "jewels."

The outside of the house looked pretty much like last year...

We borrowed our neighbors' awesome home made witch. 


The inside, haunted house, was also similar to last year--except this year, I made a curtain of ripped up black plastic garbage bags that the kids could pop in and out of, 
scarring whomever happen to be walking by.

In the entrance hall, we did do something that worked ok and was a little creepy.  The four of us made plaster molds of our hands that I then mounted on wood it looked like they were coming thru
the wall--sort of..

And I hung some bones where we usually hang our coats...just your usual basic spooky stuff...

When the party got started, this table was full of lots of treats for the kids.

We told scary stories around the fire pit in the back yard but first, the moms took the kids for a haunted walk thru the neighboring park--where the dads were waiting to scare the pants off them!  Our amazing neighbor hung this ghost on a zip line that came down as the kids ran past it...among other surprises that made them all scream their heads off--was pretty great!

And! My newest addition, a full life-like skeleton!  
I am so excited to be the proud new owner of this guy. 

Huge thanks to my gracious friends who saw me as a fit custodian!  

I can't wait to use him next year...


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to School 2013!

The kids went back to school on Monday.

It was a bit of a last minute scramble
 because there was the possibility of a last minute school transfer 
but that didn't happen--it was a win-win, either way.

So they are both happy and at home at their new teachers and old friends...

They are getting so heart-breakingly big.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Happy Birthday Boy--Luca turns 6!

Luca turned 6 in July and I am pretty sure we celebrated his birthday bash 
with friends on the hottest, most humid day of the year.  

But because nothing beats hot, humid days like the local community swimming pool (the YMCA) 
we got a bunch of friends together...

(Luca's directive: boys ONLY, with a few sister siblings exceptions)

and rented out this crazy blow-up, part jungle gym/ part obstacle course slide thing--in the indoor pool!

You can either climb/slide/fall all over it--which is what Luca liked...


You can challenge your friend, dad, spouse to a race over/through it.

(Which is what Magda and her dad did--quite a bit...)

Hilarity ensues...

and its a race to the finish...

Pretty sure Magda won that time! 

Very fun to get to that final slide and have your splash ending into the water!

Below, fun and tuckered party goers.

The family celebration of Luca's birthday involved 
presents, pizza and a home-make ice cream cake.

Magda made Luca a really cool necklace that he has pretty much worn non-stop since he got it.

And! since the boy is completely crazy for all things buggy, 
I found this mounted & framed cicada on ebay...

A mother's love truly knows no limits. 

Luca got not one but two awesome legos sets, lovely jeep flowers from Uncle Michael...
but I think the best present of all, was the enormous skate board we got him--

(that I, not very smartly, picked out--either he will get really good 
or he will be traumatized for life--will keep you posted.)

Things wrapped up nicely by making pizza with Grandmom.

(Luca's dinner pick!)

and this not pretty, but pretty darn tasty graham cracker angel food cake 
rolled with rocky road ice cream and some extra marshmallows thrown in for good measure.

I should have taken a photo once we sliced into it, 
but it was so good, and still so hot, we had to eat fast!

Happy Birthday to our beautiful, sweet, gracious & generous boy!

We love you so, so much...

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Trip to Mount Vernon

On Wednesday, we took the kids to Mount Vernon--the Virginia home of George Washington...
the estate is just incredibly beautiful and the privately run site is very well done.
We had such a great time...

The kids were given an Adventure Map to figure out puzzles with clues they would see along the way.

George Washington made Mount Vernon his home from 1754 until his death in one point the estate was more than 8,000 acres.  Just 16 miles south of Washington, DC, and right on the Potomac River--Mount Vernon has opened the Mansion, the outbuildings, the Tomb of George and Martha, the Slave Memorial, 50 acres of gardens, fields, orchards, barns and a working grain mill.

You aren't allowed to take photos in the actual mansion
but you could photograph rooms were the servants
ate and prepared their food...


A couple of the outbuildings.  

One is where the slave women 
did hot, heavy and dangerous laundry 
and the other is where the carriages were kept.

The grounds are extensive and beautiful..
we wandered down to the Pioneer Village where there is a
four acre garden, barns and grain mill.

You can't read that sign on the tree photo below probably...
but it says:

Tulip Poplar
circa 1766

On the right, Magda can see the Potomac river thru the trees...

The Upper Garden was, herbs, citrus, figs, was just lovely.

Wrapping up and solving the puzzle!

After touring outside for a while, there was a really great museum that we spent some time in.
The place is really impressive and you live in the area or ever come here with kids, 
you must check it out...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Last Week of School

 This week is the last week that we will
have a kindergartner and a second grader,
at the same time, under our roof...

If I sound a little dramatic,
ok--its true, there's drama--
but this is kind of a big deal for me...

It seems like just yesterday tears were streaming down my face as I walked my brand new kindergartner to his first day of class--and I couldn't quite fathom that I had a second grader on my hands...

BUT! this is no time for tears--summer is right around the corner and 
the countdown to the last day of class began weeks ago! 

 However, before we get to that last bell ring of the 2012-2013 school year, there are some very impressive school projects!!  


For Magda's science class (which is taught entirely in Spanish), each student had to present a project on an insect.  Magda chose El Mosquito. 

 Besides writing about their life cycle, describing Malaria and drawing detailed diagrams of their bodies...Magda also made a head band to wear while presenting her project to the class...which included, you guessed it! 

A mosquito!

On the left, that is a little mosquito saying, "I want more blood!" 


and on the right, a pretty amazing diagram that Magda did..
(click on the photo to see it larger.)

For Luca's project, he had to pick a country and show what makes it unique.
Of course, being the good son that he is, he chose the mother land...

He wanted to focus on soccer, wine and pasta...
(what a good boy!!)

They put a lot of time and effort into getting these projects done right
 and it was wonderful to see how proud they were when finished...

Just in time for crazy hair and hat day for Spirit Week!