Monday, April 13, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday

O had a great birthday week!  On his actual birthday we did a little family celebration at home.  Then, on Sunday, we had a the big party!  Since he turned five, and this will be his last birthday with his preschool friends, we decided to have a big party this year.

Last picture as a four-year-old

Happy Birthday (with chocolate peanut butter cake!)

O got a new razor scooter for his birthday.  He was pretty cautious at first, but after a couple of days, he is getting pretty brave.
Nan came to visit for the festivities.  She brought O this very authentic Coast Guard uniform.  He absolutely loves it - in fact, he wore it all day Saturday, because he had to "work".
Hand salute.
 Grandma and Grandpa sent this snazzy A's jacket (handmade by Grandma).  It fits perfect, and he is definitely proud of it!
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 Sunday was the big day for the party.  He decided to host it at Crab Cove Visitors Center in Alameda.  The center did a really nice little classroom program, followed by a guided walk on the mudflats to look for critters and then a craft.  The kids all had a great time!
The guest of honor.

Dressed as a crab.

Looking for creatures.
 After the program, we had some picnic tables and lunch for the kids and adults.

Nan set up the stomp rocket (thank you Aunt Peggy and family!) to keep the kids occupied between lunch and cake.  When O opened the stomp rocket on his birthday, he got pretty focused on it for at least an hour before bed, so not surprisingly all of the kids loved it.

In keeping with the "Creatures of the Bay" theme, we made a fishy cake with some little crabby cupcakes and seastars in the sand.  I am very happy with the way the cake and cupcakes came out.  O loved it too!

Yum, cake!  (I like that).
We all had a really nice day, and most importantly, O was happy with his party.  It is very hard for me to believe that we have a five year old boy...  seems like yesterday that he turned one.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Science Fair

O had a Science Fair at his school yesterday.  We did a project together to find why ships float.

First, he set up an experiment to compare similar items to find out which ones float and which ones sink.  His original hypothesis was that big things float - but he learned through the experiment that heavy things sink and light things float.

Testing a cork to see if it floats.

Diver smurf sinks and diver lego floats.

Then we went on a field trip to visit Dad's ship in drydock.  It is very heavy, but it still floats!

O learned that it floats because of the shape of the hull, just like an empty glass jar floated at home, even though it is heavy!

We put the whole experiment together on poster board for display at school yesterday, and O stood in front of it to explain his project to everyone who came by.  He did a great job!

Proud scientist!

Explaining the project to his lead teacher.
All of the kid's projects were very cute and fun.  They had a great time and learned a lot!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Birthday / Anniversary Week

Happy Fortieth Birthday to Tom!

We celebrated Tom's birthday on Sunday, with an all-day brunch / Octoberfest / Garden Party extravaganza, complete with funny hats and wigs.

This might be the best family portrait ever!

On Tuesday (his actual birthday) we celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary (actually today) with an amazing dinner at Chez Panisse in Berkley.  I have wanted to dine there for a long time, and we were finally able to get a reservation.  It was worth the wait.
Tom and O went out today on GEORGE COBB to see the Blue Angels airshow and the parade of ships for Fleet Week.  One more day together until the big trip!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday in San Fran

Today, O and I went to Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco with Rhianna and Tim for an outing to see Juan deMarcos and the Afro-Cuban All Stars.  It was a great show, and we got some good dancing in!  Definitely missed Daddy today - he would have loved it.

Last weekend before Tom left on his trip - he had to call the fire company to come help change the tank on the gas grill.  Luckily, the fire company was very friendly and helpful...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Visitors, Lake Tahoe and Oregon

Back at the beginning of July, when Tom and I were promoted, I could not post any pictures with Grandma and Grandpa because they were planning to surprise Chris when we went up to see him.  So, now I can catch up with some pictures from their visit...

It was really great to have them here for our promotion day.  It has been 16 years since they were at one of my Coast Guard ceremonies, and I have always been a little envious of the folks who get promoted, or advanced or get an award and have their families there with them.  For this one, I was going to have family there either way, but having my Mom and Dad made it extra special.

Mom and Dad putting on my CDR shoulder boards.

O and I putting on Tom's shoulder boards.

Tom's crew.

 We had a really nice visit with Grandma and Grandpa overall.  Over the weekend of the fourth, we went to the parade and hosted a small picnic here. Then on the fifth, we drove up to Napa to see Chris and Peggy.  I  had arranged with Chris for the three of us to drive and see them while they were on their motorcycle trip from Spokane - we got to surprise them with the extra visitors too.  It was a great day - in fact, I enjoyed it so much, I never took any pictures!  O definitely had a blast swimming in the hotel pool with Uncle Chris.

Before Grandma and Grandpa left to go back to PA, we took an evening ferry ride over to San Francisco for dinner.  A trip to visit us would not have been complete without a stop at a winery on the way to the ferry...

At Rosenblum Cellars waiting for the ferry.

After our visitors left, we had a few days to get ready for our camping trip to Lake Tahoe and the follow-on trip to Portland, Oregon.  Lake Tahoe was amazingly beautiful.  I have only ever seen water that clear and blue in the tropics.  I did not take many pictures, but that is OK, we are going back in less than two weeks.

O got to try out stand up paddle boarding on our trip.  He was unsure at first, but after a few minutes, he really enjoyed it. 

We flew up to Portland after Tahoe to visit Adam and his family.  I don't have any pictures from that camping trip due to a minor camera battery malfunction, but it was also incredible.  We went camping outside of Eugene and spent our days at the Triangle Lake Rock Slide.    You should check out the video and pictures on the link, it pretty much captures our days in Oregon.  All three kids loved the pools and rode the slide in an inflatable boat.  

We are back in Alameda, but not for long.... in two weeks, Lake Tahoe, here we come!

Pre-K Kid

Big day today!  Olin moved up to the Pre-K class...  he is getting to be such a big boy!
He is very excited about the move up, as he should be.  One step closer to graduation.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Promotion Day!

Today, Tom and I were both promoted to Commander (O-5).  It was a really nice day - we were both able to go to each other's ceremonies, and Olin was with us for both.  We started the day at a Sector San Francisco All-Hands for my promotion, then headed over to ASPEN for Tom's promotion and lunch.

The cake his cooks made.

Two Commanders with their Captain

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Point Bonita

We had a nice weekend here.  Yesterday we had a picnic at a local park with an outdoor string quartet concert.  Today, we decided to go on a Marine Headlands adventure.

We stopped at a couple of the bunkers along the way to explore, and then hiked out to Point Bonita lighthouse.  It was a great day!

Point Bonita Lighthouse from a bunker along the coast road.

On the trail to the lighthouse.

Point Bonita Lighthouse.
O really enjoyed the hike because it included a tunnel and a suspension bridge!

On the suspension bridge.

Great day!  

Golden Gate Bridge from the hike.
The weather was perfect and the views amazing!  We all had an awesome afternoon.