Sunday, May 31, 2015

first grade concert

The first grade children at FPE presented a spring concert with songs and a short play, for the enjoyment of their parents and the kindergarten classes.  Sebastian's class drew the short end of the stick, in my opinion, being saddled with sparkly yellow gowns and glitter crowns in order to appear as angels, and having to sing Dona Nobis Pacem in Latin to begin the show. Latin? For a first grade performance of The Circle of Life, in which appearances are made by Chicken Little, an oak tree, many acorns, and many squirrels?  Whose wonky idea was that?

Anyway... they were adorable, and they sang as well as they could, and Sebastian was proud, and thus so was I.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

annual FPE carnival

Friday was the annual carnival at Forest Park, organized by the PTA and staffed by parent volunteers. The children each got 'golden tickets' this year, giving them unlimited rides. Liesl loved the bouncy house, the obstacle course and slide, the petting zoo, the gymnastics track, the frog pond toss, the giant trampoline, the treasure table, the karate and cheerleading demonstrations.... Sebastian mostly liked hanging out with Frances.  Both children tasted cotton candy for the first time and were, predictably, huge fans.
I know, it's ridiculous to post a headless shot... but this is still my favorite picture of bouncing Liesl in the bouncy house.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Neahkanie Mountain

Ten years ago, during the week following our Portland wedding, Steve and I drove to the Oregon coast. We stayed in a lovely inn at Cannon Beach, we camped in the pitch darkness at Oswald West State Park, and we hiked Neahkanie Mountain in Manzanita. Here are two photos of that hike - a gorgeous fall day, with perfect views.
I was determined to hike the mountain again, this time with the whole family. We were not quite as fortunate in either our weather or our photographer (the random lady ten years ago was much better than the random one on Monday), but the hike was beautiful and the glimpses of the beach happily reminiscent.

Memorial Day weekend in Manzanita!

We spent the long weekend at the Oregon coast, in the town of Manzanita. We rented an enormous house - 9 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, and an acre of grassy yard space - along with our friends Michela and Brian, Elise and Todd, Mary and Patrick, Anne and Cuong, and Adrienne and Jeff. We were 23 people. It was a last-minute madness, and it turned out beautifully.
The beach was cold, of course, although not cold enough to keep my children out of the water. They ran and splashed in the waves on both Saturday and Sunday, and then shivered and buried themselves in the warm sand and covered themselves with blankets. Other children proved to have more sense (although not Camille, and not Seb's friend Frances, separately in Manzanita for the weekend with her family).
Dinner on Saturday night was a choose-your-own burrito adventure with wheat and corn tortillas, chicken, black beans, rice, sweet potatoes, roasted zucchini and red peppers, guacamole, salsa, and cheddar cheese.
And for dessert, marshmallows roasted and burned around the fire pit. Sebastian was initially quite nervous and wouldn't participate - he's never liked getting close to fire, and the last time he had marshmallows he was sick. But eventually he got in there and joined the unhealthiness.
Storytime! We got all the kids into their jammies around 8, and then Adrienne read a story and Steve told them two - one about a boy and his dog and his red bicycle, and one about a girl and some dragons.
 Sunday morning at the beach. The Ceccacci's haven't yet adjusted from California. :)
 Sebastian and Frances at the beach.
 Jeff and Patrick digging a two-room mansion. Or maybe a tunnel to China. It was unclear.
 Baby Filomena and baby Genevieve, both fascinated by the same hole.
 Good thing we had a former cheerleader to help us retrieve the frisbee that was stuck in a tree.
Dinner prep for Sunday night: hot dogs, sausages, corn on the cob, roasted asparagus, braised kale and leek.  And smores, this time, since plain marshmallows weren't enough.
The giant-sized lawn, and lots of children to play with (and adults), was fantastic. We had soccer, bocce, cornhole, football, and lots of random tag and wrestling games.

Steve entertaining the children with various games - he was truly a Pied Piper all weekend with the gang.
On Monday morning, our family took off a little earlier than the others (we were up before 6, and the kids were getting grouchy), and hiked up Neahkanie Mountain. I'll publish those pics in a second blog post.