Sunday, August 24, 2014

Childhood Friends

I'm so glad that our kids have friends who they have known pretty much their whole lives.  This past weekend, Charlotte and Levi stayed over while their parents were out of town.

 We have Levi to thank for teaching Jeremy how to do this!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grace's First Day of Fifth Grade

I love that Grace's school has a social on the Friday before school starts so the kids can meet their teachers and visit their new classrooms.  It eases some anxiety, I think. 
 Grace and her fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Barretto

 This is Grace on her first day.  She actually asked if I could drive her this year, and I even walked her to the classroom.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jeremy's First Day of First Grade

We had a long day flying home from Calgary to San Jose.  From there, we went out to lunch with the Pozzis before finally heading home.  My first few days back at work were pretty uneventful since I didn't have a classroom to get ready for.  My new partner and I moved into our new "office."  My principal at Harvest was kind enough to allow us to use one of Harvest's classroom to house us.  That means that I still get to be a part of the Harvest community, which I am genuinely grateful for.
 First day of first grade!
Jeremy's first grade teacher, Mrs. Grewal

Early on the first day of school, I got a text from Mr. Perez (Harvest's principal).  He wanted to know if Jeremy would want to be on t.v. later that morning. When I asked Jeremy, he agreed.  Our school district, Central Unified, was holding a press conference at Harvest to share about the rolling out of tablets to all Central students.  Since I didn't have any classes yet, I also attended the press conference.  It was very long- 45 mins. and the kids stood for most of it.  Well, that is until Jeremy dropped his tablet!!!  Right there, in front of everyone! AGH! He quickly picked it up and luckily, it was fine.  At that point, they let the kids sit down and brought them water.  Later, Mr. Perez joked with some officials that Jeremy was just "testing out" the tablets and proving that they're durable.  Jeremy was on the news and the next day, he was on the front page of the Fresno Bee.  This certainly made Jeremy's first day of first grade quite memorable!

 Our district's Superintendent, Mr. Berg, and California's Superintendent of Education, Mr. Torlakson.
This week also marked a significant moment in my teaching career- here's my FB status post about it:
I got home today at 2pm. Why would that be "status-worthy?" Well, today's the first day of my new part-time job (district GATE enrichment teacher)! For years, I have put in 15+ hour days leading up to the start of the school year and was always stressed and lacked sleep! What a change this year! I got back from Canada yesterday, did nothing school-related last night, and went to work this morning, spending most of it moving into my new space. Feeling blessed for this new opportunity- I am looking forward to an amazing 2014-2015 school year!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Brian and Aja's Wedding

This year, our whole trip was planned around a very special event- a wedding!  It seems ages ago, but my best friend in university was Brian.  Most of my memories of that time in my life involve him in some form.  He was pretty much the main guy in my life until I met Jason.  Brian is dear to my heart and there was no way I was going to miss his wedding!  It was held on August 9, which any other year, might not have worked for our family to attend.  The first day of my new school year is August 11!  Every year, I pretty much "live" at school to prepare my classroom leading up to the first days of school. As things would turn out, I don't even have a classroom this year, so it was not problem at all that we planned to return on August 10.  It was for this reason that we flew in and out of Calgary this year.  We were able to spend a little bit more time with Peter and Teresa since we stayed with them.

Here are some pictures from Brian and Aja's wedding...
 Waiting for the wedding to start

From the start, I knew this was going to be a special wedding.  Brian and friends played "What I Wouldn't Do" by Serena Ryder as the bridesmaids and Aja walked down the aisle. They asked for us to put away our cell phones/cameras, so I don't have any pics from the ceremony.  Let's just say that it was a beautiful ceremony that was exactly "Brian and Aja."

 University friends- Jack, Brian, me

 Brian and Aja had little goodie bags waiting for the kids at our table!
 Every table marker was a picture of a couple and the number of years they've been married- so honored to be Table #14 (technically, we should be #15, but...)!
 Gee and me (high school/college friend)
 Beautiful Aja and me
 Amazing dessert bar (there were tons of options- I made myself stick to just these)
My "grandpa," Keith Thomson was there with his daughter, Carolyn, who I hadn't seen in decades. Both Brian and I grew up calling him our "grandpa" because of the significant role he had in our parents' lives when they first arrived in Edmonton in 1975.
 Brian with his mom

 Brian's sister and my dear friend, Grace
I can't believe this is the only family pic we have from that night!
The reception was such a fun time!  There were dance offs, lip sync contests (Jimmy Fallon-style), and funny, emotional, heart-warming toasts... I laughed uncontrollably one minute, and then cried the next.  Both Grace and Jeremy danced their heads off!  Dare I say it- it was probably the best wedding we've been to and all four of us had the most amazing time.  We were so sad when it was time to go- after all, we had to be at the airport by 4am, so we couldn't stay til the end.  I am so incredibly grateful that we were able to attend!  Love you both, Brian and Aja!
(I have no idea who to give the photo credit to- this was from Brian's FB page)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Canada Olympic Park

We left Edmonton and drove down to Calgary a few days before having to fly out.  That gave us some time to explore Calgary.  We decided to head to Canada Olympic Park. Calgary hosted the Winter Olympics in 1988 and its facilities are still in use. 

It was very stormy when we arrived, so we visited the Canada Sports Hall of Fame while we waited for the rainstorm to pass.
 Our kids have no idea who Wayne Gretzky is!  In fact, they barely know a thing about hockey!  I've deprived them, living in Fresno!

 It was a very nicely laid out museum- tons of interactive things for the kids to do.  Jason learned a lot more about Canadian sports than he probably wanted to.

After the storm passed, we headed outside. There is now a summer luge track that runs alongside the original luge track there and we decided to try it out.
 We rode the chairlift to get to the top.

It was so fun, Jason, Sarah, and the kids did it a second time.  Then, we let the kids try out some outdoor climbing structures.  Jeremy chose to climb this "Spiderweb."

Grace chose to climb the rock wall, and Jason wanted to try it, too.

We found this other rock wall while walking around the park.  Our kids are obsessed with American Ninja Warrior and this kept them entertained for quite a while.

From there, we headed to Okotoks to our friends' home for dinner.  Jenny has been a dear friend for over 15 years.  We lost touch over the years after I moved to Fresno, but Facebook reconnected us.  We saw them a few years ago on our road trip, and are glad we got another chance to visit them this year.  As always, Jenny made us an incredible meal and it was fun to catch up.  Huy took Jason downstairs for a jam session while the girls chatted.