A few weekends ago I headed down to Orange County with my mom, Sawyer and Greta for an end of summer luau at Jane’s. The kids had a blast, the weather turned out to be beautiful, delicious food (as always!), and lots and lots of bouncing. My camera was being glitchy so I kept it home and just snapped with my iPhone.
I love the color palette that each child chose.
I love that they chatted and gabbed with each other the whole time they painted.
I love that they cheered each other on and gave each other compliments.
I love that they couldn’t wait for their projects to dry so they could play with them.
I love that these are my children.
One other to do on my list before Greta started school was take her to her first official high tea. Technically it’s not her first because when she was a year old she dined at the Bel Air Hotel for high tea. But I’m not counting that since she was just a babe. No one enjoys a high tea more than my mom so the 3 of us headed out to the new Montage in Beverly Hills. They even serve a kiddie high tea with pb&j, nutella, and grilled cheese as the little sandwiches. She enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate instead of tea and a nice cold ‘mocktail’. She got all dressed up and was an angel. Sat perfectly, held her cup delicately, and was quite enamored with the little spoons, forks and knives. She aligned them up just so many a times this afternoon.
We are so happy all of our east coast friends and family are fine and the hurricane didn’t meet expectations. Over here it’s been hot, hot hot. We spent the weekend doing a whole lot of work. Not work work, well, except Aaron worked all Friday evening. But actual unpaid work for the most part. We got a whole lot of house projects completed. Although I wish I could report that the inside of my home had the same attention as the outside, but that didn’t quite happen.
Aaron worked on Saturday at the renovation of our local Kingdom Hall. He always ends up with the really hard manual labor work. But secretly he loves it. I think he will be quite sad as soon as he is too old to handle the jack hammer. All I had to do was bake for the crew’s breakfast. Easy peasy. The kids and I spent the day working outside. They took turns helping me paint the adirondack chairs that seem like the never ending project. But alas, I finished the last chair today. They played outside almost the entire day, and then after lunch I decided to blow up several dozen water balloons to cool them off. That turned into a water squirter fight as soon as the balloons were used up, which then turned into a water bowl throwing fight as soon as the squirters broke, which then just turned into hosing each other down.
I did manage to sneak off to see Crazy Stupid Love, which was great. I am a huge Ryan Gosling fan, and that guy can really play any character. Sunday we took a family field trip to Home Depot. Does everyone get as excited as I get when they go there? The possibilities are endless! We picked up the supplies to finish our outdoor lounge/firepit area. And I’m thrilled to report it’s complete. We spent the afternoon on that project, with me painting the final chair while Aaron did the fire pit while the kids created elaborate train systems on the ground around us. This evening Aaron and I are off to a dinner for The City School. We have our final week of summer this week and I’m cringing just thinking of sending them all back. We are going to make the most out of the time left. Pictures to follow some time later this week. And I promise to post photos of a very very cute Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Ms. Greta had.
Our final day in Paradise we asked the kids what they wanted to do, and they responded with “go to a new beach”. So we obliged. We went to a popular snorkeling beach and spent half of the day swimming and boogie boarding and searching for crabs.
Every afternoon I would make smoothies for everyone, which is our tradition on any vacation, or pretty much any given summer day. The local market had amazing fruit and I bought frozen spinach and Hawaiian spirulina, kefir, juice, and so we were good to go. I have to admit I make the best taste tasting and healthiest smoothies of all time. I also found these cute little umbrellas to make them extra fancy.
No vacation is complete with a good old fashioned water fight. Unfortunately for Aaron, he still is no match for my dad. Even with the flippers on.
One final sunset.
She did it. She graduated despite my many pleadings for her to stay right where she was. It was a Sunday morning and it was one of the sweetest things I’ve seen. Each child has been working on this life size self portrait and I hadn’t seen Greta’s at all. It was kept under lock and key until the graduation. Once we got there they were all hung up, all of the graduates, with little chairs in front. All three preschool years participated in singing songs with the graduating class. It was really sweet to see the 3 year olds sing “The Ants Go Marching” as Greta’s class marched onto stage. Once they were dismissed from the stage then the 4 year old class sang with them. Until finally it was just Greta and her classmates left. They sang You’ve Got a Friend in Me, and then This Little Light of Mine. For the last song the entire audience of parents, grandparents, all joined it. Then they patiently waited for their name to be called to receive their diploma.
She is the peanut of the class, and I’m sure that won’t be changing in Kindergarten either.
Here come the ants.
I’m Gonna Let It Shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…
The director said something about every child when they were called up for their diploma. You didn’t know which child she was talking about until she finished, but I could guess when it was Greta’s turn. She spoke of how throughout the year she found her courage and her confidence. When starting this school she would get very timid and withdrawn if something unkind was done or said by another child. And slowly throughout the year she found her courage to speak up. Not that she has any problem at home when it comes to speaking up! But school is a whole other story for her.
So proud of you my love!
This past week has been busy with Greta’s last week of preschool sniff sniff. Last Sunday she graduated and then each day this week was kid’s choice. Monday was PJ day, Tuesday share day, etc. She was pretty sad on Friday that she was finished but we promised her we would return to visit her teachers she loves so much. We do preschool graduation big in this house and that’s what we did Saturday. I will do a separate post for her graduation day and one for her party this week.
Planning a tea party for little girls took more work than I think planning my entire wedding. I slept til almost 9am this morning. And I’m still tired. But she loved it and I hope she remembers it forever. I’m thinking her memories at 5 may be one of her earliest memories, and I hope this day was one of them.
My garden is peaking with tomatoes and we enjoy them nightly. The most delicious thing in the world is home grown tomatoes, still warm from the sun before they were picked.
We spent the day with my dad’s side of the family which is always nice. We don’t live far away but it seems we don’t see each other enough.
I haven’t updated my iPhone in awhile so I’m posting a few photos from it to catch up. I’ll work backwards. Two weeks ago I took the kids to another pool party and it was amazing. It’s annual, but this is the first year I got to go since I didn’t have to work. They had craft tables set up, tons of pool toys, a dress up table with masks and boas, a t-shirt crafting table, a stuffed animal section where you got to choose your own one to take home. They also had a DJ and served a delicious lunch and dessert. I think a few were a little nervous when they saw I wasn’t going to get in the pool for awhile, that is until they saw Greta swim. That girl, mermaid genes for sure.
This week she got to enjoy a graduation party for all the graduates at a place called Scooter’s Jungle, I want to say it’s in El Segundo or Hawthorne. I’ve never been to one of those bounce house places. The kids were in heaven. I could not keep up with her, thus the completely blurry shots.
I didn’t grab a photo but they had zip lines for the kids. They swing off a ledge and go zip lining into a bounce house wall, and if they let go beforehand, no worries, bouncy floor.
Indeed it has a been a full and fun week. The boys have their final week of camp starting tomorrow. And this week is all about me and my girl. We have a special lunch planned with Nanni and Tati, a whole lot of loving on Romeo planned, pedicures, and maybe we will squeeze in a movie and high tea. Then it’s the boys turn the following week. I am sad to think that in two and a half short weeks they are all off to school. sniff sniff
Ziplining Day. This. Was. Awesome. We knew we wanted to zipline while in Kauai, and that was one of the first things we scheduled when we got to the island. I checked out a few websites of local places, and I chose one completely on how well I liked their website. Forget the reviews and location, I went for pure design and style. And I have to say it totally worked out. We chose to do a 3.5 hour excursion. Greta and Romeo sat this one out with my parents, and the boys came with us and my sister and brother in law.
I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend these guys for zip lining. In fact, if the kids were a little older, or we were staying a little longer Aaron and myself and Jessica and Carl would have signed up for the 8 hour kayak, hike, and zipline tour with them. It was unbelievable. They lease private land from a family and so it is secluded and beautiful, and you can’t see this part of the island without them because of it being private. Not to mention, if you ask for Eric, you won’t be disappointed. He was kind of hot, and we had to keep fanning my sister throughout the whole morning.
I’m trying to figure out how to put this harness on, and I just couldn’t visualize it.
That is Eric doing our safety briefing. Sawyer was the very first person to volunteer which I was not expecting in the least. So off he went first.
We did this line twice. The second time they insist you do it backwards.
Gunnar preferred to see where he was jumping.
Next up was propelling down over a waterfall. You have to feed your rope with one hand from behind you and go down backwards. It was beautiful and awesome. But before that I had to check in with my mom that everyone was still alive and well.
The last zip line we did twice. Same thing, forward once and backwards second. It was over water and just was amazing. They encouraged you to hang upside down as well, which we did.
Here’s the boys going across together.
And anxious to climb back up and do it again.
Here’s Aaron and I, I’m on the left, he’s on the right.
After zip lining we came back to the house and hit the beach for the afternoon.
Then we showered and cleaned up for dinner.
For dinner we ate at Casa Blanca which was wonderful. One of my favorite meals, beautiful setting.
They had a band playing and Sawyer made fast friends with the base player. Sawyer found out he owned a boat and arranged that he would throw his letter in a bottle out at sea. Love this kid. Here he is with the base player and his letter and bottle.
Aaron claims that this zip lining experience was probably the best documented trip of all time. Possibly. But how can I not snap away at what we got to experience!? If you can believe I have only one final day to share with all of you. On the 9th day we were busy packing and getting to the airport, so Day 8 is all that is left. I’ve loved splitting this trip up by day. It’s let me hold on to the vacation a little longer.