Monday, August 25, 2008

Sniff, sob

So today marked another milestone on the road between diapers and acne: the first day of kindergarten. I was caught off guard by how emotional it made me feel in anticipation, but I was able to hold it together today--whew. Siena was *very* excited to start kindergarten and she had her new backpack packed last night...and her clothes are set out for the week. She goes every day, and it's all-day kindergarten. She seemed to do just fine today--they start kindergarten here by having only 1/2 of the students come, and now she has tomorrow off so the other half can come. That way they ease in a bit and get used to things. Here she is meeting her teacher again and figuring out how to attach her nametag: The highlights of today were: recess (they have monkey bars! Imagine!); practicing going to the cafeteria; actually *going* to the cafeteria; and the Hello and Goodbye songs. All of this bodes well for a good year, I think.

Remy started at a new preschool, and we're pretty excited about it. It's a small school with only 4 classes of 10, and they can do part of the day in immersion Spanish. After he gets acclimated, we may try to do that. While we liked his last school fine, we think that this will be a good move. But our babies! They're growing up.

End of summer

Too quickly, it was over. August is always a crazy-busy month; I start school early to work with the incoming TAs, and the kids get shuffled around for a bit. This year they did a one-week Shakespeare camp, which was quite hilarious. At the performance that Friday, Siena informed me that she was Spiderweb (Cobweb, actually). See if you can guess who Remy is.Puck, of course. His role consisted of running across the classroom to Nick Bottom, and back. Our kids: budding thespians.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The big wedding 2008

We arrived in Wenatchee on Friday afternoon and it *poured* rain not long after. Just what a bride needs, right? Audrey handled it all well. . . they had a rehearsal at the park and then a nice rehearsal dinner buffet at a sports club, so the kids went swimming after dinner. A few pictures from that day:Remy and Liam trying to warm up after swimming:

Then, the big day. The wedding was at 1:00 with pictures beforehand, so here are a few of various groups. Audrey's dad and step-mom:
Heidi and Markus:The kids with them--the girls *loved* being princesses/fairies/flower girls:
The colors are so bright and cheery:
It was fun watching everyone arrive...and then the procession. I was way off to the side so the picture angle isn't that good. Here are the kids coming in:Remy was a bit of a three-year old (shocking, huh?) -- he made it up front but then needed candy bribery to stay there...and then he decided to sit down, lay on the pillow, prop it up...very fun for the grandparents and parents in the front row!

The girls performed well:

And it's official!
A few suspects at the reception:

The Swiss contingent:
They had a game of "father-daughter croquet" after cake and ice cream--very cute. The kids all whacked balls around.

After the wedding we swam at the hotel during a beautiful late afternoon. Then all of us (us, mom and dad, Heidi and co., Heidi and Markus) went out to dinner at a local steak place. We sat outside on a balcony and soaked up an absolutely perfect ending to a great day. I took pics but they're so bad that everyone'd shoot me if I published them!

It was special to also enjoy meeting on Sunday with everyone. We grabbed a burger with Heidi, Shirley and kids before leaving town for the 8 hour drive home. Dylan and Siena:

The big bike trip 2008

On Wednesday we drove up to Post Falls and spent the night at Karl's folks' place. The next day, we headed out for the Hiawatha Trail. The drive up through Idaho was gorgeous, and then the drive the next day across the small part of the state was beautiful as well. It was interesting to get a glimpse of Wallace and Kellogg after having read The Deep Dark (add it to your list if you're interested in Western history/mining/general sadness and death). The bike ride itself was amazing; the scenery is as stunning as all the hype suggests. Luckily Karl and Sonja had researched it well, and so the kids had glow sticks (thanks, Sonja) and we all had lots of lights to get through the lonnnng tunnels. The first one (1.7 miles) about did me in; it's pretty freaky to be riding a bike in pitch black darkness. But it was very worth it and such a fun day.

The fam, before we started:
Coming out of the first and longest tunnel--we're all smiling with relief, I think! Sonja:

Jim and Judy:
Remy, who decided that one dark tunnel was plenty to lull him to sleep:

Karl, who figured out that the tunnel is much better *without* sunglasses on:

Wayyy up high:

Conrad had to go and add a little drama to our trip: he blew a (replacement) tire about 1/3 of the way into the long tunnel on the way back. Judy walked with him while the rest of us scooted through, and then Karl shuttled Sonja's tire back in for Con. I'm afraid that Sonja, the three girls, and I were a pretty funny sight as we drug out her wheel-less bike and a trailer and tagalong bike with no lead bike!

The whole group at the end of the day--not bad for a 17-mile bike ride!
We stuffed ourselves at a noodle restaurant for dinner and then took the kids and grandparents back home to play while the in-betweeners got to go walk the boardwalk on Coeur d'Alene lake. It's gorgeous all around--reminded us of Traverse City.

Dinner on the porch

So, starting last Sunday night: we had barbequed salmon out on the back porch with Heidi, Markus, Adrian, Daniel, and Audrey. Dinner was so yummy and even better shared with such good friends. The pictures don't capture how perfect the evening was!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

An unexpected vacation!

So Dim and Jana stopped by again on the way *back* from their actual, scheduled vacation--and then ended up staying here for three days!
It was a blast, and it's funny how we fall back into old patterns from the days we lived together--we all work together well, but plus the kids are in the mix now. All four did great while running on the dangerous combination of extra sugar and not nearly enough sleep.

We had a day at the park (with a paddle boat ride and a trip through the Discovery Center--very fun); an afternoon field trip to the fire station; swimming; a field trip to Powell's Sweet Shoppe; and a fun barbeque with Adrian's parents, who are now here!! These are pictures from Friday night--some are dark, sorry. In the others the kids are harassing Daniel, who is now back in the running for Remy's best friend (usually exclusively Adrian, although he's sometimes fickle):

In all, we've had a summer like no other--tons of playing and many, many special times. It's so amazing to have Heidi, Markus, and Daniel over here--so, so fun.