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Monday, June 13, 2016

May 2016

School is wrapping up and this May was no less busy than any other year.  

After many months of prayer and searching out various options, our church body has moved to a new location!  We are now meeting at the Church of God Seventh Day near Chipotle in Lodi, which works out perfectly since their church gathers on Saturdays.  We understand that a church is not about the physical building, but this move gave our children, more than anything, a much more clean and safe place to meet!  The transition has been going well and we are so thankful for the new location that the Lord guided our church to.  There are already several new families attending, many of whom have young children, too!

Teacher Appreciation Week: Caleb was excited to make a card for Mr.Drouin for Teacher Appreciation Week.  Check out the drawing on the zoomed in version, I love them - He drew himself and Mr. Drouin, with details down to the colors and accessories that are usually worn. 

Greek Easter at 'Uncle Nick's' - this is the second time we have attended Greek Easter, which is a mix of many generations, ethnicities, and languages being spoken. We don't know very many people other than our immediate family, but it is still a really cool experience to be around and more importantly to expose our boys to, with the prayer done in Greek, and some of the different traditions and foods they have there.  They do still do an Easter egg hunt for the kids, and then shower them with a dozen or so other little gifts, oh my gosh - needless to say the boys were thrilled by all that.

We have been making frequent trips to the Lodi Public Library this Spring, checking out lots of new books to keep our reading time fresh, especially since Caleb can read many of them to us now.  I use the Scholastic book fliers that come home to get ideas, or any popular book or character that I can think of, then I see if the library has them. Put a hold on the books, wait for the email to say they are ready, then just walk in and check them out.  SO MUCH EASIER, and we can get good books as opposed to the random and sometimes awful ones we just pull of the shelves when the kids grab books! 

Nana Gigi brought the boys a container full of hundreds of ladybugs so they could release them into our yard.  They didn't know she was bringing them over, so they we're a bit overwhelmed at all the moving creatures at first, but warmed up to the idea and eventually let them crawl on their hands.  And now we have some extra help eating the bugs in our garden, too! :)

"The Boys of La Setta Drive" 
(Jacob (6), Landon (4), Caleb (5), and Haydon (7))

Landon's preschool 'field trip' to the park at the end of the school year.

Landon received an invitation to join his friend Matthew (who lives at the end of our street) for a day at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (in Vallejo).  The boys look like they had a blast, and the picture from the end of the day proves it.


"Uncle Eli" was here visiting from Virginia for a few weeks this month, so we had lots of time and fun with him, including he and "Uncle Tameem"  coming to one of Caleb's t-ball games.  Caleb was very excited about that.

Papa forgot to bring his chair, so he used Landon('s)...

A father teaching his boys...

Morada Little League Family Fun Day - the dunk tank was a hit, literally, for the boys. 

 The boys love having their faces painted

Our little lefty

Lucky Landon - another fun invite, to take a paddle boat from a friend's house over to Mason's beach.  The little boy is Billy, a friend of Landon's from preschool, and his sister Blair. They had a ton of fun running up and down the beach, in and out of the very cold water (this was only mid-May!)  Hope we get the chance to go again some time.

This month has several minimum days, which means several dress up days.  This was Hawaiian Day, and Caleb said he wanted a blue lei.  Thank you Nolan for loaning us your authentic hawaiian shirt!
(Is it just me or is Caleb kind of doing the football neck pose here??)

...And of course Mr. Drouin, dressed up for Hawaiian Day, too.

BIG DEAL celebration this month!!  After three extremely grueling years, Jimmy's brother Joey finished and graduated with his Doctorate in Education (EdD).  Way to go Joey, and Aly too for being strong at his side.  

Caleb's bean plant from school. Not to sure what kind of bean, or where it would prefer to live in our garden, but after almost killing it in the ziploc it came home in, I got it in the ground and it is still alive (writing this mid-June)... There are actually even some bean pods growing on it!  

Caleb's last t-ball game, and here is his team, the Rattlers.  Coaches Jimmy, Wade, and Brad.

Caleb is usually pretty into the dress-up days at school, and for his general unwillingness to wear things I choose or buy for him, it makes me happy that he wants to dress up for the spirit days. This was 80's day, so he has the super neon orange shirt, sleeves rolled, jean jacket (Mr. Drouin helped us out by popping Caleb's collar), and pegged pants.  I think he felt pretty coooool. :)

Caleb's drawing of BB-8

End of the year field trip to the Stockton Children's Museum.  Caleb and his classmate, Ashton...

Self-serve face painting station.  Oh how the boys love to paint their faces!

Caleb, Sebastian, Cooper, and Jared

Landon had his last day of preschool at Vinewood Preschool this month!  It was very bittersweet, because we love the preschool and everyone there so much and we will definitely miss them!  Next year Landon will be attending Transitional Kindergarten (TK) at Lakewood School, which is basically a (free) year of pre-kindergarten (same curriculum, but simplified) for the kids whose birthdays fall between September 1 and December 1 - it other words, the ones who don't make the cutoff date to start Kindergarten this year.  Landon is very excited, and we know of at least one preschool friend who will be in TK with him as well.  

(Left) Some of Landon's classmates and friends, Olivia and Otto.  (Right)  Landon and Teacher Debi, or "Teacher Devi", as he calls her!

Memorial Day swim time with the cousins!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

April 2016, Jog-a-Thon, and Asado at the Carloni's

Baseball, and more baseball this month... They started doing coach-pitch for the second half of the season.  Some of the kids struggled at first, but over the course of the month they progressed noticeably, in all of the skills.  Began teaching the preschoolers class at church this month, which is the class Landon is in.  And we went to a big 1st Birthday Party done in the Korean tradition, and ate huge amounts of amazingly delicious homemade Korean food, mmmmmmmmmmmmm.  That was a first for me, and I loved it!

If you know Jimmy, you know he loves to cook and try new things with food.  Well one of the ideas he has had in his head to try for quite some time is cooking a baby lamb in a style that is common in Patagonia (Southern Chile and Argentina), called Cordero al asador. The meat slow-cooks over an open fire for about six hours and ends up tender with a delicious smoked flavor.  He was thrilled to be able to make it happen this month, with the help from his friend and former co-worker, Chris Carloni, who basically built (welded) this contraption together from scratch, with moving parts and all (the cross can be raised or lowered to adjust the cooking temperature).  And of course Jimmy had to get into character, so he cooked with his Chilean Huaso hat on. :)

The view from the patio dining area...

During one of my days helping out in Caleb's classroom, they had a surprise visit from Clifford, who was there to tell them about the book fair and encourage them to read more.  The kids thought he was so cool. 

We discovered this month that papers were not making it home from Caleb's cubby, including the one that would have informed me about Caleb being Star of the Week!  On the Thursday of his 'special week', he told me while we were getting him ready for school that he was Star of the Week that week.  News to me!  Thank goodness for 1-hour photo - I threw together a poster with pictures for him to take and show the next day.

Lunch with a Loved One at Caleb's school - Landon and I took lunch for Caleb and ate with him, then the family and siblings got to play together on the Kindergarten playground.  These two boys love each other so much, and I love how they give such sweet hugs for pictures!

Landon doing what Landon loves to do - EAT, and hang out in the shoppe kitchen with Candace.

Twin Day - Caleb dressed as a twin with his buddy Cooper Powell.  They did the faux-hawk hairdos, Batman hoodie, jeans, and custom-made shirts drawing attention to something they have in common... They say "My name starts with a C and my dad's name is Jimmy", since Cooper's dad's name is Jimmy also.  Random, cute, fun. 

Headed out to a Saturday morning game in Morada.  This wagon has been the best purchase to haul all our baseball stuff and chairs, and the boys love pulling it around!

Caleb is giving Landon a new do, and as you can see he is focused very intently on what he is doing.  

Landon just recently had his first x-rays at the dentist, which revealed three cavities, eeek!  His sweet little face looked so funny trying to pucker up while he was still numb from the appointment!

The second discovery regarding Caleb's school papers not all making it home from the cubby was with our Spelling lists.  Before Christmas we were getting a new list of words every week, and his spelling tests were coming home, too.  But starting in January no spelling lists were coming home, so since the kids work at their own pace in learning each list of words, I assumed that maybe it was getting too backed up and they were taking a break from giving out new lists.  Fast forward to April, and we were having dinner at a classmate's house, and I see a spelling list hanging on their fridge.   The mom said they have been getting them every week, and we had not!  Caleb...  
Lessons learned:  Don't assume anything, and remind your Kindergartener often to be sure to get all the cubby papers out every time!

Once we figure out that there were still spelling lists happening, we found a fun way to fit in practicing them, using our MagnaDoodle in the car as we drive around town.  I call out the word, Caleb writes it and shows to me.  (Way to multi-task, mama!  Haha)

AWANA's  awards night, hanging out with Caleb's friend Max, and a proud Landon showing off his new AWANA Cubbies (green) ribbon (which you can hardly see in this picture actually...)

Landon had his end of the year Preschool program this month, which is always incredibly cute and incredibly short. We're talking like 5 minutes of singing, and then maybe 5 minute of slide show pictures from the year (tears!) - they're only three and four year olds so I guess you can't expect much longer from their attention span! 

Landon, our child who is so particular for so many things, including wearing collared and dress shirts of different kinds, willingly grabbed this one at Target with me one day to wear specifically for his program.  If I hadn't had him pose next to a downspout, this looks like it could be a little model shot!  Haha bragging mama :)

Landon stood kind of off to one side from the rest of his class because of lack of space, so they had their own little trio with Levi and Otto.  They were funny to watch, with Levi eating his shirt, and Landon and Otto having mostly serious faces while they sang and did their hand motions.  Its a bummer that with our good camera, the two cuter pictures were blurry, and the clearest one I got was when Landon was sort of picking his nose!  (Which we specifically talking about before the show... Me: "Landon,  make sure you don't pick your nose while you're up on the stage."  Landon: "Ok mo, I'll just do it afterward.") 

Caleb had his first Jog-a-Thon at school.  Mr. Drouin, his teacher, dressed up, as usual in a ghostbusters hoodie that was hiding his cape and superman shirt.  Landon was right there with Caleb, as usual, as they walked out to the field to run.  The kids ran their hearts out, and Caleb ended up with something like thirteen laps.

One of my favorite things about Kindergarten has been watching Caleb's brain work as he learns how to read.  It is so fun to listen to him read to us, and he does an awesome job sounding out new words.  This was the longest book to date that he read start-to-finish with almost no help!