Monday, September 22, 2008

Renaissance Fair

Saturday, we drove up to Las Golondrinas, a period historical museum/farm, for the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair. It was a beautiful day and we all had a great time.

There was 'live steel combat' which the boys found very cool.

Frog catapulting (with plastic frogs) which is harder than it looks (and it looked pretty hard!). Andy got one frog in a basket, of the 6 frogs each boy catapulted.

And a Jacob's Ladder game, which is much harder than it looks! Climbing a ladder mounted like a hammock requires balance, patience and about 3 tries to grab the bandanna! In these pix, each boy succeeded in getting the bandanna (which was threaded thru the hook near the medieval carnie).
Andy, with the bandanna in his hand, as he lost his balance. But he got the prize!

Dan, just reaching for the bandanna.

Spencer, who was really good at this game!

And a performance by Clan Tynker, whom Andy always loves to see!

Raspberry Picking

We had a great day on the 14th (only got photos uploaded today) picking raspberries at a local organic farm. The berries are delicious! We left with 3 pints, which were gone by Tuesday morning -- just snacked them away.

Only got a few pictures before the batteries died, tho.

After raspberries, we met friends in the park to play.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dan and math

Dan asked me, "What's 95 plus 80?"


"Yay! I got it right! Andy asked me what it was and I figured it out!" (Andy has been quizzing Dan lately -- no idea why)

"How'd you get that answer?"

"Because I know 100 plus 80 is 180, and 75 is 5 less than 80, then 95 plus 80 is 5 less than 100 plus 80."

He spent the next half-hour figuring out math sums on his own, and telling me how he came up with them.

"Mom - 28 plus 28 is 56!. Know how I did that? 20 plus 20 is 40, then 41, 42, 43, 44,.... (up to 56 on his fingers)."

"You added the ten-units, then counted up the one-units. Cool!"

"No, I added the 20-units, then counted the other 16." (very matter of factly)

Which prompted me to give him a quick description of place values as a math concept.

Even cooler, it's all math done in his head!

He is too clever!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Our Vacation

We're home from our vacation in California. Everyone had a great time!

We arrived Weds night, so we could surprise Grandma at the airport on Thursday morning. Grandpa knew we were coming, but for Grandma & Auntie Michie it was a complete surprise! After the airport, while the grandparents had a nap and settled in at another Auntie's home (we also stayed with an Auntie), we visited a nice park with play equipment, a climbing boulder. The boys played, climbed, took pictures (see my 365 blog) and just relaxed. It was wonderful to spend a day together, out of the car, after two days on the road.

Friday, we went into San Francisco after breakfast, where we saw Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, Alcatraz (no tours, just across the bay), sea lions and sea gulls, ferry boats, a submarine, lots of sailboats. We visited and toured Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum -- very fun and stranger than I ever imagined. We drove up some very steep streets, and down the same very steep streets. The downhills made me nervous, which thoroughly entertained the boys. We drove down Lombard Street, billed as the crookedest street in America. We stopped in at a chocolate store where the boys bought some great candy, and we all just enjoyed looking at the candies and gifts.

Saturday, we visited Santa Cruz for the beach, at the end of a wonderful drive through the mountains on a shaded, winding road. Andy spent 3 hours in the water, Dan alternated between water and sand.
On Sunday, we visited a shoreline park in Mountain View where Grandpa rented a pedal boat for the four of us to use for an hour, which was lots of fun, too.

We had a great time. Every day and night included wonderful meals -- Japanese potluck, spam musubi, namasu (salad), sushi, kalua pork and more. We ate out at a wonderful Chinese restaurant, and finished the weekend with pizza, spaghetti and salad (wonderful Vietnamese salad, too) and birthday cake for Grandma's 80th birthday (a couple of weeks early).

Through it all, the boys were wonderfully fun and conversant and friendly and just amazing!

We're back home now, and very happy to be here. I still need to do some housekeeping and am so looking forward to my daily walk with my dog! Only after some grocery shopping and a visit to swim with friends first, tho.