Saturday, December 18, 2010

Music Maestro

Lukas had his piano recital today. It was held in the Chapel in Hermann Hall, also known as the Del Monte Hotel, on the grounds of NPS. We are fortunate to have found a very talented and compassionate piano teacher who truly cares for her students but expect nothing but the best out of each one. Every student performed four pieces. Lukas did bring his music although he could play each piece by memory after practicing diligently for several weeks. He really enjoys his lessons and his practiced paid off in a nice performance. For those really interested in the full scope of Lukas' recital can click on the You Tube link below. I marvel at how far he has come in a pretty short period of time, it seemed not long ago that he was plucking and pecking..... We were of course very proud of him it was a great Christmas gift from Lukas to his parents - sweet music to our ears.
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Friday, December 17, 2010

No wonder they are tired in the morning

Noah and Lukas are veracious readers and we are frequent visitors to the library, always on a quest to find something new to read. There are times when we have not even arrived back at the house and a book is read. If it was not for the library, I am not sure how we could keep these two in books.
At night, both happily curl up in their beds with a 'good' book. If the book is too good to put down, it is possible that we see a glimmer of light under the door opening late into the evening. Who can blame them? If the book is good, why sleep, when there is sleeping in next morning... so our entire family is shifting schedule, slower, later mornings and a bit later still slow evenings.
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Perfect camouflage

We went to the Aquarium this week for a quick visit. The main reason to go was our most recent guest - Flat Princess hailing all the way from Houston, Texas; and like everyone knows it is important to show your guests the very best you have to offer and the Aquarium is no doubt just that.
Lukas and Noah had a good time drawing various animals. Since we have a membership, we do not 'do' the entire Aquarium in one visit, but rather pick and choose which exhibit to see each time. This week, the boys picked Seahorses and Flamingos.
These sea dragons captured our attention for a long time. Noah was a bit frustrated as they were not still long enough for him to sketch one...

Can you see me now?

How about now?
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Gotta Love Freecycle!

Noah has been using my roller blades to perfect his style, his ride and his tricks. He prefers to climb up the incline of our garage entry and then head and body bent low go full speed until he is stopped by the front door step.
Well, he really wanted his own roller blades and one morning I saw an ad on Freecycle for a pair that still had some life in them. The perfect opportunity for Noah to get roller blades at the best possible price, free!
Noah was so excited when we picked up these cool blades that he immediately put on. Now Mamma and Noah can go roller blading together!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Noah violin recital Dec 12, 2010 part 1

Noah's Violin Recital Part 2 December 12, 2010

First Performance

Noah began taking violin lessons earlier this year and yesterday he had a chance to participate in his first recital. He practiced diligently and carefully to make sure he was ready. Unfortunately, his very last lesson before the recital, was cancelled, yet even without this final 'dress rehearsal' he did well. Being the youngest performer, he was the first to play.
Being proud parents we of course videotaped each mili-second of this event and put it up on You Tube for anyone to watch who cared to hear and see his first official performance.
All the students performed well and it is clear that they have an incredible teacher in Mrs Kline, who accompanied every student on the piano. Noah saw what is possible, by watching the older teenagers who had played for 10+ years. There was sweet sounds rising from these small instruments, truly an enjoyable hour for all four of us.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Help me remember December

Well there was a period this summer when I was a bit dejected, wanting and hoping daily that maybe tomorrow the sun would come out, and the temperature gauge would nudge up into the warm zone.. Day after day we reluctantly pulled our fleece jackets closer around us as we ventured outside for a bit of play and pretend that it is summer fun.
However dismal the summer may be here in Monterey, we are truly enjoying and taking advantage of the incredible weather that December offers. After a few days of trying to focus on school amidst Christmas preparations, yummy cookies, parties, and the super nice weather, we finally gave in today and put the books back in the closet and headed to the beach! Yes, the beach in December.
The boys brought along Flat Princess ehmm I mean Flat Stanley courtesy of dear Texan friends and off we went. Lucky and I had a chance to get a good cardio workout walking the wet sand while the boys sat out to dig to China yet one more time.
We enjoyed our lunch and the warm sun on our faces before we headed back home - a great break - and it was so much easier to finish up the school work with sand between the toes.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Trial and Error

It has been on our calendar for a bit now... and it should not come as a surprise, as this is a yearly task - a good family picture featuring all four of us, or maybe all five, close up enough that it is possible to see our faces, and somewhat reflective of our current lives.... Not such a tall order for all my organized friends.
We had good intentions last weekend, but that is as far as it got... so Sunday we resolved to complete the task and get it off the white board.
The rain began to drip, the clouds grew darker and darker by the minute.. quick, where can we take this picture? Noah and Lukas were kind and enthusiastic participants in the hunt for the 'perfect' location. In some ways these photos are much more indicative of our lives so here they are:

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Live Nativity

Lukas and Noah once again participate in Carmel Presbyterian Church Live Nativity Scene held annual in conjunction with the Carmel-by-the-Sea tree lighting ceremony. Noah took his job seriously and would barely crack a smile even when his good friend told jokes. I did not know he had it in him to stay that still and that serious for so long.
Lukas took on his role as Joseph with great care, and both boys look forward to participating each year in this tradition. It is a great way to start the Christmas Season.

Joseph and the Three Wise Men - quite the crew!
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Great New Game

Noah recently invented a new game combining some of his favorite activities: moving around and playing Lego. He built a relatively simple Lego creation that in many ways resembles a human, with one important distinction: the head on the Lego creation is stationary.
This is how you play the game:
Take the Yellow Lego Man and position his arms, legs and body in some fashion. Place the Yellow Man on the floor. The other person, or oneself if using this as a solitary game, must copy the pose. Hence the reason for the stationary head, "since, Mamma, nobody can turn the head all the way around like a Lego man can, so it is better that it is stationary."
Noah happily demonstrated his new game and immediately roped Mamma in to a oh so difficult and not very lady like pose... giggles and large thumps followed as I fell not at all gracefully to Noah's amusement.
Despite my dismal start, I think he is on to something here...

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Cookies, cookies, cookies

On Sunday we hosted a Cookie Exchange, a great way to sample delicious cookies and increase the variety of cookies in the Christmas Cookie Jar.... However, given that each and every cookie brought was so incredible delectable, there is low probability that we will still have cookies by Christmas.
I may want to enlist Lukas' motion detection camera to capture on film who is eating all our cookies...

Bob and I spent a fun filled Friday evening baking cookies in preparation for the Cookie Exchange and on Saturday Lukas and Noah added their contributions to party. We ended up with five different types of cookies and when everyone left after the exchange we had at least a dozen new varieties to add to our cookie jar.

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