Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Double digits

Noah had very specific plans for his first double digit birthday - Swedish pancakes for breakfast, fruit for lunch, lasagna for dinner and his special chocolate cake for dessert. All he wanted to do was hang out and play, so apart from church and the obligatory bike ride to MYO for yogurt that is what we did.
Lukas had decorated the house with streamers and notes, and Noah thoroughly enjoyed his day as King. His toughest decision was what to play, since there were so many new toys and so many fun things to do.

And the celebration begins

Noah received his first birthday gift on Friday - a large Lego kit that he and his brother put together in no time. It was then time to try it out....tomatoes or edamames, which does it pick up easier?


The boys have really enjoyed reading Treasure Island and wanted us to take Exit 4B, but Bob and Lucky were waiting at home.


The main purpose for our trip to San Fransisco was to go to the newly renovated and relocated Exploratorium; a fantastic hands on science museum that was started by the Oppenheimers as a way to encourage children to tinker.
Well, the boys tinkered, they touched, they climbed, they explored, they built, they observed and they even drank water out of a water fountain in a toilet - all in the name of science. We spent an entire day there, and only interrupted the exploring for a few minutes to enjoy the new restaurant overlooking San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge. After 8 hours of pure fun, we corralled the boys back in to the car and we had not even pulled out of the parking lot before the head phones were on and the video started - they were too tired to do anything but watch, and I did catch some of them dosing off..  Having fun is hard work!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Experiencing an earthquake in San Francisco

After a fun dinner, we headed towards the Wharf and the hotel. A quick rest was all that was needed and the boys were ready to get out again, this time on a quest for dessert. We ended up at Ghiradelli Square and the ice cream parlor. Initially, the sensible mammas ridiculed the extra ordinarily large ice cream called the Earthquake, but a couple of quick calculations and we realized that this seemingly gigantic ice cream would be a better buy for our group. The boys were giddy as they each got to order two different flavor ice creams and two sauces, for a total of 8 scopes of ice cream and 8 toppings plus whip cream.
It did not take long before the plate was empty, and yes the mammas helped a wee bit. As we stood up to leave, a lady who sat behind us smiled and said: "this made my day, I loved seeing the boys enjoy themselves."
So, we lived through an earthquake in SF and are still here to tell about it, although there is probably a bit more of us now that we packed all that ice cream in.

Experiential eating

After an educational visit to the museum, it was time for some outdoor activity. There was a park conveniently located right outside the museum! The boys ran around with their friends, while the mammas visited on the bench and plotted out dinner.
We opted for a short walk to the an Ethiopian restaurant to add to the hands on theme for the trip.

Experiential learning

We headed to San Fransisco last week for some hands on learning. Since we have studied Ancient History this year, it was only fitting to visit the Asian Museum to see the Terracotta Warriors. All of us were in awe by the talent, the skills and abilities that China exhibited so long ago, and how well these warriors have been preserved. Noah whipped out his sketch book and began to draw various items, despite low lighting and a relatively large crowd. He likes to draw the main things, but his most preferred subject seems to be weapons of all sorts.

Since we were in the Asian museum we walked through the other exhibits as well, and the boys had to try out the funny poses that the many statues displayed.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Breakfast for champions?

Dear friends joined us for dinner last night and brought scrumptious desserts - chocolate mousse filled dark chocolate cups decorated with whip cream and strawberries.  Not wanting any waste, the left overs were kept in the fridge overnight and Noah happily volunteered to finish these off for breakfast to clean out the fridge. How kind of him.

Lego Town

Sunday afternoon means rest and relaxation, and each of us have a different way. Noah pulls up a chair and continues to expand and enhance his Lego town; Lukas pulls together a pile of blankets and pillows and settle in with his newest favorite magazine 'QST' and a cold drink; Mamma pulls out her camera and Bob find a comfortable couch, a blanket and grabs a quick snooze. Sunday afternoons at its best.

Heavenly Hosts

The dark night sky filled with shining stars, a bright moon, and darting comets - who can resists its majesty? We have enjoyed many starry nights observing the sky with our own eyes or with the help of a small telescope and marveled at the beauty. On Saturday, we were given a extra ordinary opportunity to explore the heavenly hosts as we were invited to a private observatory. We meet the owner at a local school, and then followed him out to what seems like 'nowhere' on winding roads, finally turning off the 'main' road onto a private drive through a large gate announcing the Sky Estate Ranch location. Well, it is aptly named as we arrived at the top where the observatory stands in solitude, only lighted by the sky.  Lukas and Noah had the chance to see the moon up close and almost personal, counting the craters, noticing the height of the mountains and realizing the effect of mirrors, seeing the moon 'upside' down in the eye piece of the 18" telescope. Lukas helped open the dome, Noah and Lukas pulled the dome around to align the opening with the moon and then later on with Jupiter and gingerly climbed the tall ladder to reach the top of the telescope to see and marvel. What a special evening, one we will not soon forget.